A shortage of homes for sale around the U.S. has continued to push up housing prices, economists say.

Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Home-price growth held flat in June, as home sales started to rebound following the pandemic-related lockdowns.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.3% in the year that ended in June, unchanged from the prior month.

Sales of previously owned homes, which make up the bulk of the housing market, rose 20.7% in June from a month earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors, as economic activity started to resume and buyers felt comfortable returning to the market. Existing-home sales have since surged almost 25% in July.

A shortage of homes for sale around the U.S. has continued to push up housing prices, economists say. Record-low interest rates have boosted demand from home buyers, while the inventory of homes for sale has dropped from year-ago levels as sellers remain cautious.

The Case-Shiller 10-city index gained 2.8% over the year ended in June, compared with a 3.0% increase in May. The 20-city index rose 3.5%, after an annual gain of 3.6% in May.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the 20-city index to gain 3.9%.

The 20-city index has only measured 19 cities since March due to transaction reporting delays in Wayne County, Mich., according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Price growth accelerated in five of the 19 cities.

Phoenix had the fastest home-price growth in the country, at 9%, followed by Seattle at 6.5%. Phoenix has been the top city for price growth for 13 straight months.

A separate measure of home-price growth by the Federal Housing Finance Agency also released Tuesday found a 5.7% increase in home prices in June from a year earlier.

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