U.S. home prices posted their strongest gains since 2006

U.S. home prices posted their strongest gains since 2006, as the housing recovery continued to gain steam.

Prices on the S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose 10.2% in the first quarter, according to the latest report.

That marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains, says David Blitzer, head of S&P’s index division.

The strong gains over the past year may be a bit of a statistical mirage, according to Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and co-founder of the index. Foreclosure sales are down, he said, and since foreclosures sell at a steep discount, that’s boosted average home prices.

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