OUR home prices surpass pre-recession peak to the middle of healthy sales

WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices are fully recovered from their steep dip during the housing bust and the Great Recession, according to a private measure.

The Standard & Poor’s, CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index is slightly above the peak in July 2006, after an increase of 5.5 percent in September from a year earlier. The milestone comes after more than four years of steady growth.

Still, prices are not fully restored in many cities, towns and other gauges show that the housing prices remain below their peaks.

Steady job gains and low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. Yet, the supply of available properties has declined, setting off bidding wars and pushing up home prices.

Seattle, Portland and Denver reported the largest annual gains in September for the eighth consecutive month.

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