U.S. home prices rise in January: S&P/Case-Shiller

NEW YORK Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:31am EDT

A house for sale is pictured in Alexandria, Virginia in this March 22, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Molly Riley/Files

A house for sale is pictured in Alexandria, Virginia in this March 22, 2010 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Molly Riley/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. single-family home prices rose in January and slightly beat expectations, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.8 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 0.7 percent rise.

"The housing recovery may have taken a breather due to the cold weather," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, speaking to the 0.1 percent price drop on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

"From the bottom in 2012, prices are up 23 percent and the housing market is showing signs of moving forward with more normal price increases."

An extremely cold winter has been blamed for a spate of soft data in the past few months, though the weather's effects on economic numbers are starting to abate.

"While recent results have been considerably better than those seen earlier in the cycle, and also better than we had anticipated, we have not given up on the argument that a large supply overhang of existing homes promises to keep pressure on prices for some time," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc in New York in a note.

S&P/Case-Shiller said prices in the 20 cities rose 13.2 percent year over year, just shy of expectations for a 13.3 percent gain.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article 

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.