Denver home price gains behind only those in Seattle and Portland, says Case-Shiller — but here comes Tampa

The real estate market excitement might be shifting to the South.

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The Denver skyline and the 'burbs. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The Denver skyline and the 'burbs. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Home price gains in Denver were just half a percent higher than in Tampa, Florida, according to the latest Case-Shiller index.

The much-watched index tracks the repeat sales of homes, meaning that it measures the price increases of already built houses. For the last 11 months, Seattle, Portland and Denver have been at the top of the 20 cities measured.

That’s still the case, by the way. Seattle had the highest increase with a 10.8 percent year-over-year price increase in December, followed by Portland with 10.0 percent, and Denver with an 8.9 percent increase.

But the real estate market excitement might be shifting to the South.

“We’re seeing signs that price gains are finally spreading into previously cool markets. For example, at 8.4 percent price gains in Tampa are just behind the market leaders of Seattle, Portland, and Denver and were the largest there since June 2014,” said Ralph B. McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia.

On the other hand, Case-Shiller says that low inventory is fueling rising home prices and Denver is likely to keep having low inventory. So there’s plenty of room for Tampa and others to join the increasing home prices club.

In fact, in Colorado, those rising home prices might be too high, according to a report from Fitch Ratings that found elevated risks for new mortgages:

“Colorado home prices were 5.5 percent overvalued in the third quarter, crossing the threshold between sustainable and unsustainable,” the Denver Post reported.