HOME SWEET HOME: U. S. home prices accelerated in November compared with a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes.
HOME TOWNS: The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.5 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago. That's the largest year-over-year gain in six years. All but one of the cities in the index posted annual gains.
STRONGER FOUNDATION: Price increases should help fuel the housing recovery. They encourage more people to buy before prices rise further. Higher prices also build homeowners' wealth, which can spur more spending and economic growth.