According to recent figures from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, home prices in Texas increased 6.8 percent during first quarter 2007, well above the 4.3 percent national average.

“Despite the national slowdown, Texas is still strong,” said Dr. James Gaines, research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “There’s no reason prices shouldn’t continue to rise despite the increase in foreclosures and the slowdown in transactions, construction and new home starts.”

By comparison, home appreciation slowed to 1.2 percent in California and 3 percent in New York. Nevada price increases virtually disappeared at just .6 percent. Even rapidly growing Florida and Arizona reported value increases of 4.3 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

Within Texas, there is a wide variation in appreciation rates in the 25 metropolitan areas. Among the state’s large metro areas, Austin and San Antonio are seeing the strongest rate increases at more than 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the energy industry is fueling strong housing markets in some smaller metros. Home prices are up more than 21 percent in Midland and 16 percent in Odessa. Victoria prices are up 8.3 percent.

Some border communities are on fire as well, thanks to a surge in government hiring and business activity. Laredo is up 16.6 percent, while El Paso is up 11.2 percent.

Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight