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According to the latest read of the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, prices for existing homes rose 0.6 percent in July, and they’ve jumped 12.4 percent since July 2012 the biggest increase since February 2006. In terms of sales pace, the high-end of the market has been particularly hot. High-wage workers, investors, and foreign buyers are snapping up luxury homes and pushing up prices. Sales of existing homes priced over $1 million surged 37 percent in the first half of 2013, triple the growth of the housing market as a whole, according to real estate research firm DataQuick . In some areas, including California ‘s Santa Clara County (the heart of Silicon Valley ) and San Francisco , it costs $1 million or more to buy a midrange home. Indeed: San Francisco had the second-largest yearly price jump of the 20 cities listed on the index, with prices there jumping 24.8 percent from a year ago. San Francisco’s surge was topped only by Las Vegas , which saw a 27.5 percent year-over-year increase. RECOMMENDED: How savvy are you about real estate?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2013/0924/Home-prices-rise-and-the-luxury-market-booms

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