US home prices still rising, but pace of gains slow as buyers priced out of market

The Associated Press

This Monday, May 19, 2014 photo shows a home for sale in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller reports on U.S. home prices in March and for the first quarter of the year on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in March, but the gains are decelerating as fewer Americans can afford to buy.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.4 percent in March compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy, that increase is down from February and January.

Home prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities in March compared with the previous month, with only New York registering a slight decline. Home prices rose 2.4 percent in San Francisco and 1.9 percent in Seattle.

The index is not adjusted for seasonal variations, so the gains can reflect the warmer weather after a harsh winter. Price gains last year and higher mortgage rates have reduced affordability, limiting the pool of would-be buyers. That has slowed this year's price increases.

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