The Dallas area had one of the highest home price gains in the country in the latest nationwide comparison.

The Dallas area had one of the highest home price gains in the country in the latest nationwide comparison.

Dallas home prices in May were up 8.4 percent from a year ago in the new Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Dallas’ annual increase was almost twice the national average rate of 4.4 percent.

And Dallas was third in the nation behind Denver, 10 percent, and San Francisco, 9.7 percent, according to Case-Shiller.

"As home prices continue rising, they are sending more upbeat signals than other housing market indicators," S&P’s David Blitzer said in the report. "Over the next two years or so, the rate of home price increases is more likely to slow than to accelerate.

"Prices are increasing about twice as fast as inflation or wages."

North Texas home prices are now at record levels in the Case-Shiller Index — about 20 percent higher than at the peak of the last housing market in 2007.

Higher homebuying costs are making it tougher for some of the state’s residents to purchase a house.

"If you’re a low-to-medium-income household, you’re probably having difficulty finding a home in the price range you’re looking for," said economist Dr. James Gaines with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "Compared with communities around the country, most Texas communities remain a housing bargain in terms of general price levels and availability.

"But compared with where home prices in Texas have been the last 20 or 25 years, yes, things are getting pricey."

The rate of annual home price increase in North Texas is running two or three times long-term averages.

Gaines said that’s because the D-FW economy is so strong.

"The Dallas-Fort Worth economy is doing great," he said. "Dallas is getting that benefit from all the non-energy industries that are growing and companies moving to the area."

Most of the cities with high home price appreciation are also seeing an economic boom.

"Variation in home price appreciation rates reflects varying local economies," Trulia chief economist Selma Hepp said after reviewing the latest Case-Shiller numbers. "Robust increases in prices persist in markets with the strongest job growth, but also where inventories of homes available for sale have been tight.

"The highest annual increases were again in Denver, San Francisco and Dallas, which all posted a robust gain of around 10 percent year over year."

Follow Steve Brown on Twitter at @SteveBrownDMN.


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