Oklahoma homeowners who have made the big purchase in the last five years often look back with glee over the prices they paid and what they expect to get back if they were to sell today.

Average home prices nationwide were up 12.5 percent over the same time period in 2005 but were up nearly 26 percent over five years ago. Oklahoma ranks 39th in the nation with an increase of 6.6 percent for the year, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report published in The Journal Record newspaper. By contrast, home prices in Arizona rose 35.5 percent in one year's time.

The numbers came from the office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the group that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giants of the home mortgage industry.

While Arizonans saw the highest increases for housing, several states saw lower prices and low rates of appreciation. Homes in South Dakota and Iowa fell from the fourth quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, according to Dow Jones. The five states with the lowest average home value appreciation were Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska and Kansas.

Analysts say the number of houses on the market is high enough to give buyers more bargaining power. Higher interest rates are also cooling off demand. Moderate average price growth -- 8 percent in Oklahoma City and 4.8 percent in Tulsa were also noted in the report.

This Week's Circulars