Home prices nationwide jumped by 11.3% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to an analysis released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a financial data firm.
The company's Case-Shiller indexes showed that the increase was driven by rapid appreciation in Western states. Prices in Las Vegas increased by 26% on a year-over-year basis. Prices in Riverside and Oakland, Calif., were up 24% and 23%, respectively.
"Limited construction of new homes and low inventories of existing homes for sale contributed to the jump in prices," said David Stiff, the company's principal economist, in a press release accompanying the report.
Home prices continued their upward climb from record lows following the housing crash. Prices nationwide were up by 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
But they have yet to reach pre-crisis levels, remaining 21% below their peak in the first quarter of 2006. Major metropolitan areas in the South, however, including Houston, Dallas and Denver, surpassed their highest levels in 2006.
The CoreLogic analysis predicts that prices will flatten slightly through the remainder of 2014, as the demand for foreclosed properties drops.
"Traditional buyers are returning slowly to the market, but cannot replace demand from investors who led the market in recent years," Stiff said.