Area home prices charted their largest gain in over five years in September, with many other U.S. cities close behind.

Prices for existing single-family homes in Dallas climbed 4.4 percent in September over the same month in 2011, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. September marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year price gains for the Dallas area.

Nationally, home prices rose 3 percent in September, with Phoenix showing the largest percentage increase (20.4 percent), followed by Minneapolis (8.8 percent) and Detroit (7.6 percent). Only two of the 20 cities in the index had declines: New York (2.3 percent) and Chicago (1.5 percent).

“This news today is going to encourage more people who want to buy homes,” said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Mark Dotzour. “This is excellent news for the entire economy, not just the housing market.”

Source: Dallas Morning News