(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) U.S. single-family home prices rose in October for the ninth consecutive month, supporting the view that the real-estate market is improving and should add to economic growth in 2013, a closely watched survey showed Wednesday.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.7 percent in October on a seasonally-adjusted basis, stronger than the 0.5 percent increase expected by economists. Home prices in the 20 cities have risen 4.3 percent in the 12 months ending in October, also surpassing economist expectations.
"Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength," S&P index committee chairman David Blitzer said in a statement. "Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy."
Housing contributed 10 percent to overall U.S. economic growth in the third quarter, even though the housing sector represents less than 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Blitzer said.