The national housing picture is grim, but the local picture isn't quite so dreary.
U.S. home prices fell 1.6 percent in the third quarter and 3.2 percent from the year prior, according to new data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. But in a handful of states, home prices have actually registered impressive, year-over-year gains, lead by unexpectedly bustling regions like North Dakota, West Virginia and Louisiana.
FHFA's index is calculated based on the purchase prices and refinancing of mortgages covered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The index does have its limitations: it only considers "conforming mortgages." For mortgages purchased since the beginning of 2006, the conforming loan limit was $417,000. In 2007, it was raised to as much as $729,750 in certain states.
The expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit helped push home sales to record lows, Bloomberg noted. (One analyst expects home prices to fall another 8 percent by next year.) Still, home prices in the below markets seem almost unaffected by the housing downturn. Check out the states where home prices have rebounded over the last year: