Home prices in the 20 largest U.S. cities saw the biggest jump since February 2006, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller index. The index’s 13.3 percent increase in September eclipsed August’s 12.8 percent increase, and also beat analysts’ expectations of a 13 percent increase.
Despite a slight uptick in borrowing costs, limited inventory is allowing sellers to hold firm on home prices, Bloomberg News reported.
“The housing market has benefited from fewer foreclosures over the last year, the share of distressed housing transactions is back to pre-crisis levels, and that has helped to boost home prices in many parts of the country,” Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities, told Bloomberg News.
U.S. building permits hit a five-year high in October, according to a statement from the Commerce Department seen by Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, builder sentiment in November held at a four-month low, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index. [Bloomberg News] – Hiten Samtani