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Residential real estate news and coverage of how residential real estate impacts the mortgage industry and residential mortgage-backed securities.

Dallas, Denver Home Prices at Record High

U.S. home prices up in May

July 30, 2013

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily

portrait of Sam Garcia

All home price indices leave no doubt that U.S. home prices are on a solid trajectory up. Property values in the cities of Dallas and Denver originally reached their highest levels on record between six and seven years ago, but those records have now been broken.

The 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index was up 2.4 percent between April and May. Prices were up 12.2 percent from May 2012.

A 1.3 percent increase from a month earlier was reported Monday by Lender Processing Services Inc. for the LPS Home Price Index, which was $226,000 in May. The LPI index was 7.9 percent higher than a year earlier.

Data from nearly 1,900 U.S. counties is used in the calculation of LPS' index.

At 201.8, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's HPI was just 0.7 percent higher in May, while the increase from May of last year was 7.3 percent.

FHFA's index is determined using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Another index, the FNC Residential Price Index for 100 metropolitan statistical areas, was up only 0.5 percent between April and May. FNC -- which excludes foreclosure sales and uses public records of sales prices, real-time appraisals and neighborhood attributes to determine its index -- reported a 4.0 percent increase from May 2012.

"Notably, the FNC RPI shows that the pace at which home prices are rising is rather modest, averaging 0.4 percent per month in the last six months," the news release stated. "Similarly, the rate of annual price appreciation appears to be much slower and sustainable than reported by a number of other closely watched price indices."

The CoreLogic HPI, which was reported earlier this month, moved up 2.6 percent in May compared to April -- the 15th consecutive rise. It was up 12.2 percent from May 2012 in what turned out to be the biggest year-over-year increase since February 2006.

CoreLogic, which says it uses data from repeat sales transactions "representing more than 65 million observations," said its Pending HPI it pointing to a 2.9 percent increase in June versus the prior month.

Dallas home prices reached their highest level in June 2007, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is responsible for the Case Shiller index. But the latest activity pushed Dallas prices past the earlier record -- leaving the city's index at 127.58.

In Denver, where prices previously peaked in August 2006, the index was 140.98 -- a new all-time high.

"This is the first time any city has made a new all-time high," according to the Case-Shiller index, which uses a base value of 100 as of January 2000.

Monthly gains exceeded 3 percent in Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle -- the first time that any city had an increase of more than 3 percent from the previous month.

LPI's index indicated that Las Vegas had the largest increase from April at 3.2 percent, while Ocean City, N.J.'s, 0.1 percent increase was the smallest.

The year-over-year increase for the Case-Shiller index was 24.5 percent in San Francisco, the best performance of any city. Las Vegas was up 23.3 percent, followed by 20.6 percent in Phoenix.

A 3.3 percent year-over-year gain in New York was the worst of the 20 cities.

Pro Teck Valuation Services said that four of 10 core-based statistical areas with the best real estate market outlooks are in the Carolinas, while another three are in Texas. Two of the best CBSAs are in New England, and one is in Colorado.

The median purchase price for U.S. homes was $110,000 in 2011, up 2.3 percent from 2009 values, according to results from a survey released earlier this month by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sam Garcia founded Mortgage Daily in 1998 and became its full-time publisher in 2000. Prior to his news career he worked in mortgage lending for two decades.

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