WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices continued to accelerate in May, according to data released Tuesday.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite jumped 2.4 percent in May to take the year-on-year increase to 12.2 percent.
Prices in each of the 20 cities rose by at least 1.2 percent, and San Francisco saw a monthly pop of 4.3 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the price gains cooled to a still-strong 1 percent. The index recorded its best year-over-year gains since March 2006. It was also the first time any city in the index reached a new all-time high: Dallas and Denver surpassed previous peaks before the financial crisis.
“Two cities set new highs, surpassing their pre-crisis levels, and five cities — Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle — posted monthly gains of over 3 percent, also a first-time event,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.
The Seattle metro area had its largest monthly gain since April 1990, according to the index. The Seattle market, which includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, posted a 3.1 percent gain from April to May, the report showed.
Twelve metro areas posted double-digit growth over the past 12 months. San Francisco’s home prices increased the most, 24.5 percent, followed by Las Vegas, where prices rose 23.3 percent. The Seattle market showed an 11.9 percent gain.
Despite the back-to-back strong gains — home prices gained 2.6 percent in April — the rise in May largely preceded a spike in interest rates that might dampen demand.Sanjay Bhatt of The Seattle Times contributed to this report.