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Home prices rise 0.9% in Q3

Second consecutive quarterly increase

Home prices rose for the second quarter this year, according to Freddie Mac's quarterly national Conventional Home Price Index (CMHPI) Purchase-Only Series released Tuesday, adding evidence the nation's housing market is warming up. The government mortgage entity's home-price-growth index rose 0.9 percent in the third quarter, following an upwardly revised 2 percent pickup in the second quarter. The increases of the past two quarters made up for about two-fifths of the declines registered during the final quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. U.S. home-sale prices were down 3.9 percent year-over-year. "The home-price gains of the past two quarters reflect improving existing-home sales over that period. Sales volume was up 15 percent between the first and third quarters of this year," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a statement."The lowest average fixed-rate mortgage rates in a half-century, lower house prices, ince...