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US house prices on the rise in February, topping forecasts

US house prices on the rise in February, topping forecasts
US single-family home prices rose more than expected in February, posting their best annual rise since May 2006. This is fresh evidence the US housing market recovery remains on track, data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed on Tuesday.

The index of an assortment of 20 American metropolitan areas gained 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to January, topping forecasts of 0.9%.

"Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

Average prices in the 20 cities gained 9.3% year-over-year, also beating expectations of 9%, and the biggest increase since May 2006.

Adjusted prices have been rising since last February, the first year of gains since before the housing market collapse. The sector started to recover last year with average home prices in a number of American cities increasing by almost 7%  across the country in 2012. Tighter inventories and improved sales helped the situation to improve.