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U.S. ranks 8th in home-price appreciation

South Africa had the highest home-price increases in the past year, according to a report by, a company that tracks global real estate markets.

The company reported that home prices in South Africa were up 27.8 percent from February 2004 to February 2005, which topped the list of 23 countries monitored monthly by

On average, house prices recorded an 8.7 percent annual increase in the studied nations in late 2004 and early 2005.

Hong Kong, which saw home prices increase 21.6 percent from January 2004 to January 2005, ranked second on the list of highest global home-price appreciation, while China as a whole had a 10.8 percent increase. Spain was third on the list with a 17.2 percent annual increase.

The United States, with a 10.5 percent increase from fourth-quarter 2003 to fourth-quarter 2004, ranked eighth on the list - roughly even with Norway.

Home prices actually dropped 6 percent in Japan and sank 1.3 percent in Germany from fourth-quarter 2003 to fourth-quarter 2004, the company also reported.

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