Home prices in 20 cities rise by most in two years

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WASHINGTON — Residential real-estate prices increased in the year ended August by the most in two years, a sign housing will continue to boost economic growth.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 2 percent from August 2011, the biggest year-to-year gain since July 2010, after climbing 1.2 percent the prior month, the group said today in New York.

The stabilization in values is rippling through the economy after the housing slump helped trigger the recession, supporting gains in consumer confidence and spending.

Federal Reserve policymakers have promised to keep interest rates low through mid 2015 to spur growth and reduce unemployment.

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