National property values surged during the second quarter, and Houston homes were a major factor driving this development.Overall, nationwide prices increased 1.8 percent during the three-month period from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This was the largest increase experienced on this basis since the end of 2005.”Although some housing markets are still facing significant challenges, house prices were quite strong in most areas in the second quarter,” said FHFA principal economist Andrew Leventis.However, Houston wasn't one of these areas that faced hardship. In fact, home prices in the area surged 6.75 percent from the second quarter of 2011 and 2.68 percent from the previous three-month period. As a result, Houston had the eighth-fastest property appreciation rate in the country.Average fixed mortgage rates have remained below 4 percent for all but one week so far this year. Most recently, the average rate for a 30-year FRM was recorded at 3.66 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. In addition, 15-year FRMs averaged 2.89 percent.????Although Houston home prices are on the rise, these low rates make the prospect of transitioning to homeownership very affordable. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.