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US home prices rise a modest 2.1% in June

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in June as some of the country’s most expensive housing markets saw stagnant or even falling prices.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.1% in June from a year earlier, down from a 2.4% gain in May.

Prices fell 1.3% in Seattle and inched up 0.7% in San Francisco and 1.1% in New York. But prices rose 5.8% in Phoenix and 5.5% in Las Vegas.

Philip Murphy of S&P Dow Jones Indices said that prices have “clearly cooled off from 2018” but continue to grow. “Therefore, it is likely that current rates of change will be generally sustained barring an economic downturn,” he said.

Rising wages and falling mortgage rates have kept demand for housing strong, but buyers aren’t willing to pay escalated prices and “are making sellers wait and even drop list prices,” said Matthew Speakman, economist at the real estate firm Zillow.

The 20-city index has risen 62.3% since hitting bottom March 2012 in the aftermath of the financial crisis and Great Recession. It is up 5.4% from its pre-crisis peak in July 2006.

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