Industry News

House-price growth up 12.3%

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Home-price appreciation was up 12.3 percent in the third quarter on an annualized basis due to low mortgage rates, which kept home sales up, according to Freddie Mac's national conventional mortgage home-price index. House-price growth nationally was up from 10.5 percent in the first quarter of 2005, and 9.8 percent from the fourth quarter 2004, with the South Atlantic and Mountain states leading in appreciation levels. "The steady decline of fixed mortgage rates during the second quarter helped to propel home sales higher and drive up house prices," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. The average weekly rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from a high of 6.04 percent the week of March 31 to a low of 5.53 percent the week of June 30, Nothaft said, and home sales in the second quarter soared to an annualized record level of 7.62 million units. Home-price growth continues to show strength along the coasts, according to the Freddie Mac index. Noth...