24 February 2010

Dallas-Forth Worth Home Prices up by 3 Percent

The Dallas News

Dallas-area home prices moved solidly higher in the latest measure of the country's housing market.

Dallas' December home prices increased by 3 percent from a year earlier in the monthly Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

It was the second month in a row that area home prices rose on an annual basis. Prices were up 1.4 percent in November's Case-Shiller Dallas report – the first such gain in more than two years.

Overall prices fell by 3.1 percent in the 20 cities Case-Shiller tracks, indicating that much of the rest of the country still faces home market challenges.

"As measured by prices, the housing market is definitely in better shape than it was this time last year, as the pace of deterioration has stabilized for now," S&P's David Blitzer said in the report. "However, the rate of improvement seen during the summer of 2009 has not been sustained."

More than a dozen of the major U.S. housing markets had a year over year decline in home prices at the end of 2009, Case-Shiller found.

The biggest price drops were in Las Vegas, -20.6 percent, and Tampa, -11 percent.

San Francisco had the largest annual price gain in December – 4.8 percent – followed by Dallas and San Diego's 2.7 percent increase.

Case-Shiller tracks the prices of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area. The index does not include condominiums and townhouses. It only covers preowned properties – no new construction.

The Case-Shiller researchers compare sales of specific properties over time.

Dallas apartments and home prices are still about 6 percent below their peak in mid 2007, according to Case-Shiller's numbers.

Local real estate statistics show that median home sales prices in North Texas were unchanged in all of 2009 from 2008 levels, according to the North Texas Real Estate Information System.

Median prices fell by 3 percent in 2008 based on prices of homes sold by Realtors through the multiple listing service.

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