US home price gains fall to lowest in more than 6 years

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices rose at their slowest pace in more than six years in January, as higher mortgage rates weighed on sales.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 3.6 percent in January from a year earlier, down from 4.1 percent in the previous month.

The slowdown in price appreciation has helped make homes more affordable. Mortgage rates have also fallen since January. Cheaper homes and lower rates are starting to reverse last year's sales slump. Sales of existing homes soared in February, though they remain slightly below where they were a year ago.

Some red-hot markets have cooled off. Home prices in Seattle rose just 4.1 percent in January from a year ago, down from a 12.8 percent gain in January 2018.

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