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State

Chicago home prices up 5 percent from a year ago

(MCT) — Average home prices in the Chicago area fell for the six consecutive month in February, dropping 0.8 percent from January but remained well ahead of last year, according to a widely watched gauge of home values released Tuesday.

The S&P/Case--Shiller home price index showed that in the Chicago market, home prices in February were up 5.1 percent from a year ago,  putting them in line with the pre-housing bubble values of April 2001.

Local condo prices, while up 5.8 percent from a year ago in February, also fell for the sixth consecutive month, putting them on a level equal to the spring of 2000.

All 20 cities included in the index have posted year-over-year gains for at least two consecutive months but Chicago's annual gain was the second lowest in February. Only New York, which recorded a 1.9 percent annualized gain in February, fared worse.

Nationally, average home prices increased 9.3 percent year-over-year for the 20 cities in the index and rose 0.3 percent from January to February.

"Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy," said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices' index committee.

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©2013 the Chicago Tribune

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