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Report: Price Gains to Moderate in 2nd Half of 2013

In July, national home prices jumped 9.3 percent year-over-year, led by gains in the West, according to ""Clear Capital's"":http://www.clearcapital.com/ latest housing report.

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When broken down by region, prices in the West showed the most improvement, surging 17.8 percent over the last year, followed by the South (+7.6 percent), the Midwest (7.5 percent), and the Northeast (+4.8 percent).

Despite the recent streak of impressive home price gains, Clear Capital expects the market to experience more moderate and sustainable increases in the last half of 2013 as homebuyers transition into the ""new normal"" the report explained.

""A rising price floor will dampen some potential homebuyers' appetites, particularly as recent gains bring many markets back into pre-bubble equilibrium. In other

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words, homebuyers are starting to adjust to the new normal, where steep discounts from the peak are not as attractive as they once were,"" said Dr. Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

Furthermore, rising inventory should also ease recent pressure on prices, according to the report.

Among metro areas, price gains were especially strong in Las Vegas, where home values spiked 31.2 percent from last year.

However, Clear Capital explained the lower median price of $145,000 in Las Vegas may, in part, explain the acceleration in prices. On the other hand, San Jose has a median price of $710,000, but prices rose 26 percent year-over-year, indicating demand is ""fueled by a strong local economy,"" the report stated.

Meanwhile, quarterly growth rates for metro areas were much more moderate, at or around 4 percent for the three leading markets--Las Vegas, Milwaukee, and San Francisco.

""We expect most of the major markets across the country to follow the path of sharp upward corrections in the short term, followed by moderating gains as markets fall back in line with their long run levels,"" said Villacorta. ""Phoenix, for example, is now seeing quarterly growth that supports a yearly growth rate more in line with 10.0%, as opposed to the current yearly gains of 23.3.""

About Author: Esther Cho

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