CNNMoney informs MHProNews the S&P Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major markets rose 9.3 percent in Feb. over the last 12 months, an increase from January’s 8.1 percent rise, and the biggest gain in home prices since May 2006. Over a five-year period through May 2012, the index showed a decline almost every month, but since then the index has risen each month. Home price increases allow more people to refinance, which helps the underwater borrower. In addition, lower house payments allow borrowers to spend money on other items, which buoys the overall economy. However, analysts note even with the increase over the last 12 months, the index remains 28 percent below the index peak of 2006.
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