NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
There is no sign of a slowdown in the housing market, thanks to an expanding economy, regulatory constraints and a limited supply of land for development, according to a report cited by the Washington Post Monday.
Home prices have been climbing for 13 years, with the rise in 2004 the largest annual jump since 1979, the paper said, quoting from the report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Harvard economists cited by the paper said the market continues to be fueled by easy credit, low interest rates, affluent baby boomers buying second homes and the continued growth of immigration.
Most housing indicators set records in 2004, the report noted, including the homeownership rate, new home sales, existing home sales and single-family housing starts.
Homeownership has risen to a record high of 69 percent of households.
Housing prices rose last year in all metropolitan areas tracked by Freddie Mac. The downside is that as prices rise, property taxes also are rising in many cities, which the report noted "falls especially hard on elderly owners with low fixed incomes."
The price increases in the purchase market have also caused problems for would-be first-time homeowners, the paper said, particularly those living in high-priced markets such as Southern California, New York and Washington. Land constraints in many of those cities make it likely that the regions will have "permanently higher prices," the report said.
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