U.S. home prices finally stop falling in top 20 markets

Dallas-Fort Worth home prices rose 4.1 percent in January from a year ago, one of the larger increases among cities nationwide, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released today.

Overall, Case-Shiller's index, which includes 20 of the nation's largest metro areas, was unchanged from a year ago. While that doesn't sound too exciting, it's the first time in three years that the 20-city index did not fall.

The DFW metro area trailed San Francisco, which experienced a 9 percent increase in home prices, and San Diego, with a 5.9 percent increase, said the report, considered a leading measure of U.S. home prices. The two California markets previously had suffered larger decreases than those in Texas and many other states.

Las Vegas was the only area to still see a double-digit year-over-year decline. Home prices there fell 17.4 percent in January compared to a year earlier, the report said.

When compared to December prices, U.S. home prices in January were flat. DFW was down 1.3 percent for the month, one of 18 cities reporting slight declines in January from December.

“The report is mixed,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee. “While we continue to see improvements in the year-over-year for all 20 cities, the rebound in housing prices seen last fall is fading. Fewer cities experienced month-to-month gains in January than in December.”

Los Angeles and San Diego each saw slightly less than 1 percent gains in January prices over December, the report said.