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by CareyBot

Average U.S. home prices climbed 12.5 percent in the last year, but a slower rate of appreciation shows signs the market is softening, according to a government report released today. Appreciation for the first quarter was 2.03 percent, or an annualized rate of 8.12 percent, the lowest rate since the first quarter 2004 and about one percentage point below the rate from the previous quarter. "These data show average housing prices still growing stronger than some might have expected," OFHEO Acting Director James Lockhart said in a statement. "They do indicate, however, that price growth is moderating in some parts of the country, particularly in areas where prices have been rising the most." OFHEO, which stands for the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, released the home-pric...