U.S. home prices see biggest jump since February 2006

From the New York site: 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.

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“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