January 4, 2017 / 2:00 AM / 2 years ago

Brazil home prices rise in December for 10th straight month

SAO PAULO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian home prices rose for the tenth straight month in December, giving builders and banks some hope the worst of a multi-year market downturn is finally easing, market data released on Wednesday showed.

The monthly FipeZap indicator, which covers 20 major Brazilian cities, edged up 0.13 percent from November, university research center Fipe and online classified ad platform Zap said.

Despite the streak of consecutive increases in national prices, the rise in home values has failed to outpace inflation, suggesting gains for sellers in cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro may be a long way off.

While Brazilian home prices rose by 0.57 percent in 2016, inflation for the period is expected to have reached 6.40 percent, the statement said. The government will release inflation data on Jan. 11.

Adjusted for inflation, home prices likely fell by more than 5 percent in 2016, the statement said.

In Rio de Janeiro, where average prices per square meter are the highest in the country, the value of homes edged lower by 0.06 percent in December, the survey showed. In São Paulo, home prices rose 0.14 in December from the prior month. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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