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A Handful of Cities Witness Real Estate Prices Rising to Pre Bubble Territory

“Home prices have zipped back into record territory in a handful of American cities, a milestone that comes seven years after the housing bust ravaged the market and the broader economy.

Values are up more than 13% from their 2007 high in Oklahoma City and by more than 6% in the Denver metro area. Prices are back to all-time highs in 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of price data from Zillow, an online real-estate information service. Prices are within 5% of their previous peak in San Jose, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Dallas.

Prices nationally remain below the highs of the past decade, and many of the cities that have seen the biggest gains largely escaped a boom and bust.

Home prices in some parts of the country that did experience a bust have benefited from low supplies of homes for sale and historically low interest rates that have boosted prices—and sparked concerns that prices could again be overvalued.

The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation, but experts say they underscore the uneven nature of the U.S. housing recovery.

“The main story in a lot of these places is that they didn’t have much of a housing recession. It’s much easier to be back at peak levels when you didn’t have a big boom and bust,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.

But in those areas that did experience a downturn, he added, “I’m surprised that we are back to peak levels so quickly.”

Brian Long of Colorado was surprised, too. At the top of the housing bubble in 2006…”

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