U.S. Home Prices Rise Fasterthan Incomes

WASHINGTON, Jumada II 20, 1437, Mar 29, 2016, SPA — U.S. home prices rose at more than double the rate ofincomes in January, an industry index showed Tuesday, a trend that ultimatelycould create affordability challenges for buyers.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller20-city home price index increased 5.7 percent from a year earlier, a slight climbfrom the 5.6 percent annual rise in December.
Home values have gained 2.6 timesfaster than average hourly wages, which have improved just 2.2 percent,according to a government report from earlier this month.  Tight supplies of homes on the market havefueled much of the price growth, as low mortgage rates and steady hiring havesparked demand.
Denver, Colorado; Portland, Maine;San Francisco, California; and Seattle, Washington, each registereddouble-digit annual price increases. Home values rose in all 20 metro area markets, which account for abouthalf of the American housing stock.
The index remains more than 11percent below its mid-2006 peak, when subprime mortgages pushed the market toheights that trigged the Great Recession in 2007.

–SPA
17:38 LOCAL TIME 14:38 GMT