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U.S. home prices are coming off the bottom faster than many expected.

Market researcher CoreLogic says prices were up 4.6% in August from a year ago, the largest year-over-year gain in six years. The report parallels others showing recent strengthening in home prices, which are still down about 30% from their 2006 peak.
Much of the recent increase is traceable to tightening supplies of homes for sale. In August, existing single-family home sales were up 9% year over year, but the supply of listed homes for sale was down 18%, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Zillow predicts that home prices will see “modest” appreciation for two to four years, given still high unemployment and the huge number of people who’re still underwater.

Despite rect gains, more than one in five homeowners with a mortgage still owe more on their loans than their houses are worth, CoreLogic data shows. Zillow’s data shows that maore than 30% of homeowners are still underwater.

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