WASHINGTON - U.S. home prices rose in March, but the gains are decelerating as fewer Americans can afford to buy.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.4 percent in March compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy, that increase is down from February and January.
Home prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities in March compared with the previous month, with only New York registering a slight decline. Home prices rose 2.4 percent in San Francisco and 1.9 percent in Seattle.
The index is not adjusted for seasonal variations, so the gains can reflect the warmer weather after a harsh winter. Price gains last year and higher mortgage rates have reduced affordability, limiting the pool of would-be buyers. That has slowed this year's price increases.