U.S. single-family home prices rose in July, matching the pace of price gains in June but falling just short of expectations, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in July gained 5 percent year over year. Economists polled by Reuters had projected a 5.1 percent gain.

Prices in the 20 cities also rose by 5 percent on the year in June.

The strongest price gains in July were in the western half of the United States.

San Francisco, Denver and Dallas experienced the highest year-over-year home appreciation among the 20 cities with price increases of 10.4 percent, 10.3 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.

"Prices of existing homes and housing overall are seeing strong growth and contributing to recent solid growth for the economy,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee atS&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

"An interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, now expected in December by many analysts, is not likely to derail the strong housing performance," Blitzer said. 

Reuters (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)