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US Annual Home Prices Rising Despite Q4 Slowdown, FHFA says

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. annual home prices rose again in December, although housing price growth slowed during the fourth quarter of 2023 from the prior three-month period.

Home prices grew 6.6% on a yearly basis from an upwardly revised 6.7% in November, a survey released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) showed on Tuesday. The slight decrease in appreciation followed on the heels of the swiftest annual growth in November since December 2022.

On a monthly basis, home prices increased 0.1% in December from an upwardly revised 0.4% in November.

"U.S. home prices increased modestly over the course of 2023," said Anju Vajja, acting deputy director for FHFA's division of research and statistics. "However, the market showed signs of softening as house price appreciation was lower in the fourth quarter of the year than in the previous quarter."

Prices increased 1.5% sequentially in the final three months of the year, down from 2.1% in the previous three months, FHFA said.

After nearing 8% during the fourth quarter of 2023, the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained below 7% since early December 2023, according to Freddie Mac data. The Federal Reserve has held off on raising its benchmark overnight interest rate since July.

On a yearly basis, prices gained in all U.S. regions. Annual prices in December appreciated the most in New England and the Middle Atlantic, rising by 10.1% and 9.1%, respectively.

Reporting by Amina Niasse; Editing by Paul Simao

Source: Reuters

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