BEND, Ore. -

New houses going up across much of the region tell the post-recession recovery tale as well as the new federal numbers out Tuesday, which show the Bend metro area (defined as all of Deschutes County) saw the nation’s 10th-fastest jump in home prices last year, at nearly 21 percent – close to three times as fast as the nation as a whole.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported fourth-quarter figures, and the “Bend-Redmond” area, as it’s labeled, wasn’t near the top in that list, at 4.28 percent appreciation. And a look at the five-year figure still shows the impacts of the Great Recession, as Bend’s home prices are still down nearly 8.5 percent from 2008 levels.

Nationally, house prices rose 7.7 percent in 2013 and 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the agency said, the 10th straight quarterly rise in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted House Price Index.

Topping the list for year-to-year home-price growth was Modesto, Calif., at 28.5 percent, followed by three other California communities – Stockton-Lodi (nearly 27 percent), Vallejo-Fairfield (nearly 25 percent) and Merced (also nearly 25 percent).

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada rounds out the top five, at 24.65 percent home price appreciation in 2013. California has 15 of the top 20 spots.

“Home price appreciation in the fourth quarter was considerable, but more modest than in recent periods,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “It is too early to know whether the lower quarterly growth rate represents the beginning of more normalized price appreciation patterns or a more significant slowdown.”

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or
guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.