By Steve Brown-Dallas Morning News
Dallas-area home prices were up for the first time in more than 18 months in a closely-watched housing survey.
Prices in Dallas rose 1.5 percent in March from a year ago in the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
Dallas was one of seven U.S. markets in the monthly survey that saw year-over-year home price gains.
Nationwide prices continued to fall - down 2.6 percent from March 2011, according to Case-Shiller.
"There are now seven cities - Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix - where the annual rates of change are positive," Standard & Poor's David M. Blitzer said Tuesday in the report. "This is what we need for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change.
"Once we see this on a broader level we will be able to say the market has turned around."
The turnaround in Dallas' Case-Shiller price numbers is another solid indicator that the North Texas housing market has begun a sustained recovery.
Local reports show that preowned home sales prices in North Texas are up 6 percent so far this year compared to the same period of 2011.
And preowned home sales were up 14 percent in the first four months of this year.
Not all U.S. housing markets are enjoying such a strong comeback. Home sales prices fell 17.7 percent in Atlanta in March, according to Case-Shiller. And prices were down 7.5 percent in Las Vegas and fell 7.1 percent in Chicago from a year earlier.
The biggest price increase was in Phoenix were prices were up 6.1 percent from March 2011, according to Case-Shiller.
Case-Shiller's index tracks over time the prices of specific single-family homes in each metropolitan area. The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses. It only covers preowned properties -- no new construction.