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Home Prices Nationwide Surge to Best Annual Gain Since Housing Market Crash, Aided by 2 Fla. Cities

Home prices across the U.S., aided by two Florida metropolitan areas,ended 2012 with the largest gain since the housing market began to crash, according to figures released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading barometer of U.S. home prices, revealed the best year-over-year gain, through December, in home prices since July 2006. Its 10-city index showed prices up 5.9 percent, while the 20-city composite showed annual returns of 6.8 percent.

The two Florida metropolitan areas included in the 20-city composite helped boost the overall result. Tampa recorded a 7.2 percent gain, while Miami was even stronger with 10.6 percent.

Home prices ended 2012 with solid gains, said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices Chairman of the Index Committee. Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter. In Decembers report all three headline composites and 19 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago.

Of the 20 cities, Phoenix (23 percent), San Francisco (14.4 percent) and Detroit (13.6 percent) posted the highest gains.

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