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Home prices increased at a slower pace in June — a cooldown that could continue for several more months and help would-be buyers. According to the closely-watched Case-Shiller 20-city index, prices rose 8.1 percent in June from 12 months earlier. That's down from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the smallest annual gain since December 2012. Yearly price growth weakened in all 20 cities. Home values in Cleveland nudged up just 0.8 percent, while Las Vegas led with a 15.2 percent gain, but prices in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa, Florida, are still at least 33 percent below their housing bubble peaks of almost a decade ago.The deceleration should help ease some of the price pressures on would-be buyers. After slumping at the start of 2014, existing-home sales have picked up as price gains have slowed. But buying remains 4.3 percent below the July 2013 level, according to the National Realtors Association. Price growth should continue to slow now that the recovery from the Great Recession has entered its sixth year. Many economists project that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in 2015, which could cause mortgage rates to rise.
- The Associated Press