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Local home prices rise 6.6% since last spring

SAN DIEGO — San Diego home prices rose 0.9 percent between March and April, and have climbed 6.6 percent since April of last year, according to the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday.

The increases reflect the nationwide trend of higher real estate prices, as all 20 markets studied in the indices rose on an annual basis, and 19 of the 20 did in the monthly comparison.

The indices were created by taking the price of housing in the nation’s biggest cities in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall.

In April, San Diego was at 237.59, or far more than a doubling of values in 18-plus years. The increase is the third fastest in the U.S., behind Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Since demand is exceeding supply and financing is available, there is nothing right now to keep prices from going up,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“The increase in real, or inflation-adjusted, home prices in the last three years shows that demand is rising,” Blitzer saud. “At the same time, the supply of homes for sale has barely kept pace with demand and the inventory of new or existing homes for sale shrunk down to only a four-month supply.”

He said increased construction, a low rate of mortgage defaults and manageable household debt should prevent a crash.