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US home prices feed off recovery momentum

Rising rates, tight inventory fail to curb appreciation

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Every one of the 20 largest states experienced rising home price increases from May to June with values climbing 1.2%, Lender Processing Services revealed Monday in its U.S. Home Price Index.

From last year, June prices soared 8.4% above 2012 levels, the company said.

The report is the result of a survey of June transactions from more than 18,500 U.S. ZIP codes.

Despite the volatility in housing data last week, specifically the plunge in new home sales, market analysts are confident that the housing recovery is still going strong.

Even with the new two-year high in mortgage rates, the majority of the country continues to remain affordable.

The average price was $229,000, up 8.4% from year-ago levels – only 15.2% from the June 2005 peak level of $270,000, according to LPS.

Additionally, home price appreciation is picking up in the hardest-hit states, since buyers are jumping back into the marketplace.

To put it into perspective, the biggest HPI state changes month-over-month took place in California (1.6%), Florida (1.7%) and New Jersey (0.8%).

Meanwhile, the biggest metropolitan movers included Stockton, Calif. (2.6%), Las Vegas, NV (2.5%), and Sacramento, Calif. (2.4%).

Confidence in housing has kept the market stable regardless of sector surprises.

The overall point is that while data seems to fluctuate, the majority of information is still relatively low compared to historical levels.

"Rates are still very low by historical standards, but everything is different now by historical standards in this cycle," explained BNP Paribas U.S. economist Yelena Shulyatyeva.

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