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Originally published January 29, 2013 at 6:51 AM | Page modified January 30, 2013 at 6:24 AM

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Regional house prices up again

Seattle-area house prices rose 0.5 percent between October and November, after dropping 0.2 percent between September and October, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price report.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Seattle-area house prices bounced back in November after slipping the month before, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Prices rose 0.5 percent between October and November, after dropping 0.2 percent between September and October.

Compared with November 2011, house prices were up 7.4 percent — the seventh straight month of year-over-year gains, and the biggest increase since the housing bubble burst.

The numbers are for the Seattle metropolitan area: King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. The November statistics, the most recent available, were released Tuesday.

Nationally, Case-Shiller’s 20-city composite index was down 0.1 percent month-over-month, but up 5.5 percent year-over-year.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indexes, attributed the month-over-month drop to seasonal factors rather than any fundamental market shift.

Prices were up in November compared with the same month in 2011 in 19 of the 20 metropolitan areas Case-Shiller tracks, with only New York experiencing a decline. Ten cities saw bigger gains than Seattle. Five — Phoenix, San Francisco, Detroit, Miami and Las Vegas — had double-digit increases.

“Housing is clearly recovering,” Blitzer said in a statement. “Prices are rising as are both new and existing- home sales. Existing-home sales in November were 5 million, highest since November 2009. New-home sales at 398,000 were the highest since June 2010.

“These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.”

The Seattle area’s Case-Shiller score for November was 142.53, meaning prices were 42.53 percent higher than in January 2000. The metropolitan area’s high, 192.30, came in July 2007.

The region’s lowest score since the real-estate bubble burst, 128.99, occurred last February. Since then prices have risen about 10.5 percent, but most of that gain came between March and July.

“We are seeing a strong recovery in most major markets as high levels of negative equity continue to constrain supply of for-sale homes, in turn leading to big price spikes,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. “Our December numbers show that annualized appreciation will get even higher before the year is over. But, we do expect appreciation for the full year of 2013 to be much more moderate as these home price gains pull some sellers back into the market and new construction picks up. “

Eric Pryne: epryne@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2231

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