(MoneyWatch) Recovery in home prices is spreading across the U.S. Nearly every city is seeing improvement following the housing crisis that engulfed the nation over the past five years.
But some cities have done more than that: They've fully recovered, and then some.
Homes.com, a real estate website and listing service, tracks home values in more than 100 cities across the country. The staff there quickly realized that home prices in some cities were emerging from their lowest points and surging even past their highest points.
In some of these cities, homes have more than doubled their value since prices bottomed out.
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The secret to their recovery: Home prices never climbed that high during the boom days around 2006 and didn't fall that far when things went bust around 2008. So when they started to recover, "it wasn't that steep of a climb," said Brock MacLean, executive vice president of Homes.com.
Dallas, for example, never jumped on the bubble bandwagon, MacLean said. Instead, the city's home prices remained relatively stable but dropped after peaking in August 2007. Since May 2011, they have been on the upswing, and now it's more expensive to buy a home there than it was in 2007.
That's a stark contrast from cities like Providence, R.I., or Worcester, Mass., where home prices are up only 10 percent from their lowest points.
And Dallas isn't even the top city where home prices have soared beyond their pre-crash peak. Here are the 15 top cities that have seen prices fully recover and are now at historic highs.