WASHINGTON - Home value growth slowed slightly in the third quarter to 7.3%, from the previous quarter's 8.5%, but remains strong, according to Freddie Mac's Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index.

The annual price appreciation also rose 7.3% from the third quarter of last year.

Home values in New England states continued to make meteoric gains, growing at an annualized rate of 13.8%, according to the index.

The Middle Atlantic states registered 10.9% growth, and the Pacific states followed with 10.6%. The South Atlantic region grew 5.4% and Mountain 5.2%.

"We are continuing to see a very healthy housing market," said Amy Cutts, a senior economist at Freddie Mac. "For more than three years now we have seen annual house price growth that has exceeded general inflation in every region of the country."

Freddie Mac economists said they expect average growth in home values to be 7% for the year.

They also predict some slowing in the housing market, which is coming off record levels of growth.

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