U.S. home prices picked up in December, closing out 2012 with the biggest yearly gain in more than six years as the housing market got back on its feet, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.9 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping expectations for a gain of 0.5 percent.
Prices in the 20 cities jumped 6.8 percent year-over-year, ahead of expectations for 6.6 percent and the best yearly gain since July 2006.
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