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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - David M. Blitzer
The average home price in the nation's top 20 cities rose smartly by 8.1 percent in the past year — the fastest increase since the peak of the housing bubble in the summer of 2006, according to the S&P Dow Jones index released Tuesday.
U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in nearly all cities tracked by a major index. The declines show that most homeowners are not reaping the benefits from some signs of an improving housing market.
Home prices rose in August in half of major cities measured by a private survey, a sign that prices are stabilizing in some hard-hit portions of the country.
Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and the average prices in four of them are at their lowest point in 11 years. Analysts expect further prices declines in most cities in the coming months.
"Economic data continue to support the housing recovery," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee that released the home price report. "This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst."