Dallas, Denver See New Area Home Price Highs

While home price growth among the top 10 and 20 metros nationwide has slowed compared to years past, the latest data from S&P/Case Shiller show that 19 of 20 metro cities showed positive returns in March.

New York was the only city to decline and Dallas and Denver reached new index peaks, S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show.

Data through March show the 10-City and 20-City Composite Indices gained 0.8% and 0.9% month-over-month. In the first quarter of 2014, the National Index gained 0.2%.

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The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index recorded a 10.3% gain in the first quarter of 2014 over the first quarter of 2013. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted year-over-year increases of 12.6% and 12.4% in March 2014.

The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly, says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a news release.

“Annual price increases for the two Composites have slowed in the last four months and 13 cities saw annual price changes moderate in March,” Blitzer says. “The National Index also showed decelerating gains in the last quarter.”

Among those markets seeing substantial slowdowns in price gains were some of the leading boom-bust markets including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa.

“Despite signs of decelerating prices, all cities were higher than a year ago and all but New York were higher in March than in February,” Blitzer says. “However, only Denver and Dallas have set new post-crisis highs and they experienced relatively lower peak levels than other cities. Four locations are fairly close to their previous highs: Boston (8%), Charlotte (9%), Portland (13%) and San Francisco (15%).”

Chicago showed its highest year-over-year return of 11.5% since December 1988. Las Vegas and San Francisco, the cities with the highest returns, saw their rates of gain slow to approximately 21%; their post-crisis peak returns were 29.2% and 25.7%. At the lower end was Cleveland with a gain of 3.9% in the 12 months ending March 2014.

Mortgage rates are near a seven month low, Blitzer says, citing recent comments from the Fed that point to bank lending standards as the problem.

Student loan debt may also be preventing potential first time buyers from entering the housing market, Blitzer says.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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