Average home prices in major U.S. metro areas rose 3.5 percent in early January, up from 3.2 percent in December.
Prices gained in each of the 20 metro areas monitored by the CoreLogic Case-Schiller U.S. National Home Price Index.
December was 2019’s strongest month for home sales, up 3.6 percent.
Gains are driven by continued low interest rates and by a shortage of houses for sale, bidding up prices for homes on the market.
Analysts say there are fewer houses on the market now than at any time since the 1980s, a condition they expect to last through this year.
The 3.5-percent increase in average home prices outpaced workers’ wage growth, which registered a 3.1-percent gain from November 2018 to November 2019.
TREND FORECAST: Housing strength will continue and grow stronger as interest rates, which we forecast, go lower. 
Across much of the world, housing prices have sharply risen since the end of the Great Recession. Therefore, when the “Greatest Depression” strikes in 2021, home prices will sharply decline.

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