By Nicole Friedman 

Home-price growth accelerated in November, as buyers continued to compete for a limited number of homes on the market.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 9.5% in the year that ended in November, up from an 8.4% annual rate the prior month. November marked the highest annual rate of price growth since February 2014.

Sales of previously owned homes, which make up the bulk of the housing market, rose in 2020 to their highest annual level since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors. Record-low mortgage rates have increased demand, while the supply of homes for sale has remained low, especially at affordable price points.

The Case-Shiller 10-city index gained 8.8% over the year ended in November, compared with a 7.6% increase in October. The 20-city index rose 9.1%, after an annual gain of 8% in October.

"The housing market continued to hold stronger than expected throughout the last months of 2020," said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. "Homebuyers will continue to compete for fewer and fewer homes available for sale, which will drive home prices higher."

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the 20-city index to gain 8.8%.

The 20-city index measured 19 cities in November due to transaction reporting delays in Wayne County, Mich., according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Price growth accelerated in all of the 19 cities.

Phoenix had the fastest home-price growth in the country for the 18th straight month, at 13.8%, followed by Seattle at 12.7%.

A separate measure of home-price growth by the Federal Housing Finance Agency also released Tuesday found an 11% increase in home prices in November from a year earlier.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2021 09:15 ET (14:15 GMT)

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