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Home Prices Rise for 5th Straight Month

The housing market picked up more momentum in August, as the average home price for 20 major cities jumped..

New and existing home sales have been stronger, inventory of homes for sale has fallen and developers have stepped up building activity..

Slow improvement in the national economy has also boosted the housing market, as have record low mortgage rates. The rates for a 30-year loan have stayed below 3.7% since May. Combined with home prices that are still about a third less than they were when they hit their peak, these record-low rates have made homebuying very affordable..

Rising prices are expected to continue, leading some economists to predict the housing market has finally turned a corner..

"Looking forward, price increases will continue," said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia. His company has more recent data, for September and October, that shows asking prices on homes have risen..

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