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U.S. home prices gain for 5th month in June

A U.S. flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, Aug. 21, 2012.

JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

U.S. single-family home prices gained for the fifth month in a row in June, a fresh sign of improvement in the housing market, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists' forecasts for 0.5 per cent, according to a Reuters poll.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices were even stronger, up 2.3 per cent.

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"We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement.

"The market may have finally turned around."

Prices in the 20 cities rose 0.5 per cent compared to the year before.

For the second quarter, seasonally adjusted national prices jumped 2.2 per cent compared to the 1.4 per cent gain that was seen in the first quarter.

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