Photo: Robert Clark

Home values in almost half of the US’s largest housing markets are now higher than they were before the start of the Great Recession.

In fact, prices are now higher than ever in some metros thanks in part to a surge in the number of high-paying jobs, according to a report released today by the listing site Zillow.

Over the past year, national home values rose nearly 7 percent to $200,700 in July. The national median home value is now 2 percent higher than it was just before the onset of financial crisis in April 2007 — the height of the housing bubble, says Zillow.

Of the 35 largest US metro areas, home values saw the biggest increases in Seattle, WA (12.8 percent), Dallas, TX (9.6 percent) and Tampa, FL (9.6 percent) in July when compared to year-ago levels.

Prices in the New York metro area rose 9.3 percent year-over-year in July, but are still over 4 percent below housing bubble peaks.

Meantime, nationally more than 48 percent of individual homes are worth more now than they were before the Great Recession. Nearly 100 percent of homes in Denver, CO are worth more today compared to the peak of the housing bubble, says Zillow. Conversely less than 1 percent of homes in Las Vegas, NV are worth more today.

And, home values in nearly 50 percent of the largest markets have surpassed pre-crisis peaks.

High-paying jobs have attracted job-seekers and homebuyers alike to Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA — where home values are now 26 percent and 20 percent higher than a decade ago.

Yet despite rising home values, homes remain affordable, according to Zillow.

“Home values are high, but affordability – while suffering a bit lately – is still okay, largely because of very low mortgage interest rates helping to keep monthly mortgage payments in check,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a media release.

However, the country’s lagging home building levels are making for a highly competitive market for some homebuyers, who are vying for a shrinking inventory of affordable homes.

“Bidding wars and homes selling for over asking price have been common themes in many markets this summer, and continued competition in the face of limited supply will only continue to push home values up going forward,” says Gudell.

Buyers left out in the cold this summer, may find the fall marketplace more agreeable, with an increase in homes coming online and a corresponding decline in competition.

Click here to read the entire report.

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