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US home prices rose in month of Feb. 12.2 percent in spite of weaker sales

WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices rose in February from a year earlier at a solid pace, suggesting that a tight supply of available homes is boosting prices despite slowing sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices for existing homes rose 12.2 percent in February from a year ago. That was up slightly from January's year-over-year pace of 12 percent.

On a month-to-month basis, prices in February rose 0.8 percent from January. But CoreLogic's month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as winter weather, which can depress sales.

Snowstorms, rising prices and higher mortgage rates combined to reduce home sales in February to their lowest level in 19 months.

A tight supply is helping boost prices even as sales slow. Sales fell 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.6 million in February from January, the National Association of Realtors said earlier this month. That sales pace would exhaust the number of available homes in 5.2 months, the Realtors' said — below the six-month supply typically available in healthy markets.

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