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San Diego Home Prices Continue To Climb Despite Nationwide Cooling Trend

San Diego home prices rose 1 percent in February and were up nearly 20 percent compared to February 2013, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Monday.

San Diego was one of seven cities among the 20 tracked by S&P to show a monthly price increase.

The indices were created by taking the housing prices in 20 large U.S. cities in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall.

San Diego's value in February was 196.97, reflecting a nearly 97 percent appreciation over the last 15 years. That's the third fastest increase in the country, behind Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

"Despite continued price gains, most other housing statistics are weak," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Sales of both new and existing homes are flat to down. The recovery in housing starts, now less than one million units at annual rates, is faltering."

While prices across the 20 markets as a whole were flat in February, compared to January, the annual gain from February 2013 was 12.9 percent.

"The annual rates cooled the most we've seen in some time," Blitzer said.

He also said home prices nationally still have not made it back to 2005 levels, before the housing crisis and recession. He said there is less demand for housing and fewer homes being built, partly because of elevated mortgage interest rates, difficulties in qualifying for loans and concerns about consumer confidence.

Other cities where housing prices climbed in February from the month before were Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Between February 2013 and the same month this year, the greatest gains were in Las Vegas, 23.1 percent, and San Francisco, 22.7 percent, according to the indices.

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