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Home prices rise more than forecast in November

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[January 29, 2014]  (Reuters)  Prices of U.S. single-family homes rose slightly more than expected in November, while their increase from a year ago was the biggest in almost eight years, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. A Reuters poll of economists forecast a rise of 0.8 percent.

The 20-city composite index rose 13.7 percent year-on-year, the largest rise since February 2006.

"Home prices continue to rise despite last May's jump in mortgage interest rates," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

"While housing will make further contributions to the economy in 2014, the pace of price gains is likely to slow during the year."

Despite a 0.1 percent decline on a non-seasonally adjusted basis for the monthly gauge, the 10-city and 20-city measures posted their best November performance since 2005.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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