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US home prices increase a scant 0.8% in April: FHFA

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U.S. home prices rose a scant 0.8% between March and April, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in its latest home price index report. The FHFA index measures prices on homes backing mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The most recent report shows home prices dropping 5.7% in the 12-month period ending in April, pushing the home price index 19.3% lower than peak levels recorded in April 2007 and in line with January 2004 levels. Home values on the coasts rose between March and April, while values continued slipping in the mountain, northwest and southern Atlantic regions of the country, the report said. The largest drop occurred in the mountain region where home values declined 1.3% in April, while the most growth occurred in New England where prices grew 2.2%. While the FHFA report limits its data to loans sold to government-sponsored enterprises, home price reports on the entire market reflect a belief that price volatility is not going away anytime soon. Home prices double-dipped in the first quarter, according to the most recent Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, and Capital Economics expects a lack of demand to keep home prices from experiencing a consistent rise until 2014. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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