US house prices up 0.3 percent

Washington, Oct 24 (IANS) US house prices edged up 0.3 percent in August compared to July on a seasonally-adjusted basis, marking the 19th consecutive monthly increase, official data showed.

House prices rose 8.5 percent in August compared to the same period last year, according to the monthly House Price Index of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Xinhua reported.

Though the upbeat figures indicated a steady improvement in the US housing market, the situation varied from region to region.

Among the nine census divisions, prices of the Pacific division, including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, climbed the most by 18.2 percent from a year ago, while the Middle Atlantic division, including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, witnessed the smallest annual increase of 4.0 percent.

The house price index was still at 9.4 percent in August, which is below the April 2007 peak level, said the FHFA.

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