Home prices post strongest gains in 6 years

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

U.S. home prices posted their strongest gains since 2007, as prices rose 10.2% in the first quarter, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller national index.

That marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains, says David Blitzer, head of S&P’s index division.

But the strong gains over the past year may be a bit of a statistical mirage, according to Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and co-founder of the index. “Foreclosure sales are down, so naturally [price] indexes that include foreclosures are up,” he said.

Foreclosures sell for less than comparable non-foreclosure properties, so with fewer of them selling, home prices will show gains.

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