Average U.S. home prices soared more than 13 percent over the past year and showed no sign of peaking as low mortgage interest rates and speculative buying boosted demand, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (search) said Thursday.

In the year-long period through June 2005, home prices jumped 13.43 percent, the report said. That marked the biggest increase over a 12-month period since the second quarter of 1979.

Home values appreciated 3.2 percent during the second quarter from the first quarter of 2005, or at an annualize

House prices grew much faster over the past year than did prices of other goods and services, said OFHEO, the regulator for mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). While homes appreciated by more than 13 percent, prices on other goods and services rose 3.1 percent, the regulator said.

The Pacific region posted the fastest price appreciation, while the slowest was reported for the division that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Nevada had the highest appreciation for all states, with house prices up 28.1 percent over the past year and 5.5 percent for the quarter.

But for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2003, Las Vegas was not on OFHEO's list of the 20 fastest growing metropolitan areas.

Thirty of the 265 ranked metropolitan statistical areas had price appreciation over the 12 months through June 2005 that exceeding 25 percent. Washington, D.C. and 24 states had double-digit annual price growth while eight states showed price increases exceeding 20 percent.

In Maryland and Virgina, percentage home price rises in the year-long period through June 2005 were at their highest levels in the history of OFHEO's house price index.