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Case-Shiller: Home prices rising at pre-recession rate

Home prices rose at their fastest rate since the summer of 2006, before the housing collapse.

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ANTIOCH, CA - Real estate for sale signs are seen in front of homes that were foreclosed along Catanzaro Way October15, 2007 in Antioch, California. New data from the Case-Shiller index shows prices in January 2013 rose at the fastest rate since the summer of 2006, before the housing bubble popped. (JUSTIN SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The housing market is continuing its recovery, with home prices rising at a rate seen before the start of the housing collapse.

The Case-Shiller index, the most widely followed measure of home prices, shows prices in January rose at the fastest rate since the summer of 2006.

The index showed a 6.8 percent year-over-year gain in December.

Several cities hit hard by the housing collapse are now posting the strongest price recoveries.

Phoenix led the group with a 23 percent price increase while Las Vegas home prices were up 15 percent.

Despite the gains, both the 20-city index and the 10-city index remain about 30 percent below their peak of June/July 2006.

The data, released Tuesday, put the median price for a new home sold in February at $246,800, up 2.9 percent from a year ago.

A separate report out Tuesday is further good news for a housing recovery. New home sales dipped slightly in February, falling by 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000.

The drop was not unexpected after a strong January. Even with the drop in February, sales were 12.3 percent higher year-on-year.