Property prices in the United States have recorded their highest annual increases for over seven years, according to new figures.
The latest S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values reveals that prices climbed by 12.2 per cent between May 2013 and May 2012 – the biggest 12-month gain recorded since March 2006.
More encouraging is the fact that all 20 cities covered by the index showed price gains in May from April and compared with a year ago.
The largest annual price rises were recorded in San Francisco, California, where prices jumped by 24.5 per cent in the year to May 2013. Las Vegas, Nevada, reported the next biggest gain at 23.3 per cent, followed by Phoenix, Arizona, at 20.6 per cent.
The smallest yearly gains were seen in New York, at 3.3 per cent, followed by Cleveland, Ohio, with 3.4 percent and Washington, D.C. at 6.5 per cent.
Historically low borrowing costs, short supply and improving job market are the reported to be the main factors behind the rising demand for residential property and, subsequently, the driving of prices.
However, despite the recent price gains, home prices are still on average about 25 per cent below the peaks they reached in July 2006.
That said, property prices in Dallas, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, have surged to all-time highs.