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First American: Homes stay affordable

Real home prices ticked up in October but were more affordable than a year earlier, according to First American Financial Corp.

The company’s real home price index jumped 0.7 percent from the September level, but was down by 0.4 percent compared to October 2015, the company said.

Aside from changes in home prices, the index factors in the movements of wages and interest rates to gauge the real price of homes.

First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming said the latest reading predates a recent rise in mortgage rates since the November election. He said the jump in mortgage rates past the 4 percent threshold could largely be offset by a cooling off in home-price growth and rising incomes.

“I expect the net effect on consumer house-buying power to remain modest,” Fleming said. 


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