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NAR: Home Prices Accelerate in Third Quarter

Monday, November 6, 2017   /   by Carlos J Higareda

NAR: Home Prices Accelerate in Third Quarter

Constrained inventories are pushing up home prices at a rapid pace in nearly all major metro areas in the third quarter, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday. 

The national median existing single-family home price in the third quarter was $254,000, up 5.3 percent from the median a year ago of $241,300. 

5 Priciest Housing Markets

The following housing markets were the most expensive in the third quarter, based on the median price of an existing single-family home:

    1. San Jose, Calif.: $1.7 million

    1. San Francisco: $900,000

    1. Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif.: $790,000

    1. Honolulu: $760,200

    1. San Diego: $607,000

5 Lowest-Cost Housing Markets

The following housing markets were the least expensive in the third quarter:

    1. Decatur, Ill.: $86,300

    1. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio: $88,900

    1. Cumberland, Md.: $96,400

    1. Wichita Falls, Texas: $113,800

    1. Elmira, N.Y.: $117,300

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Single-family home prices rose in 92 percent of the 177 measured markets last quarter, NAR reported. Nineteen metros saw double-digit increases in the third quarter. Only 15 metros—8 percent—recorded lower median prices than a year earlier. 

“The stock market’s climb to new record highs, the continued stretch of outstanding job growth, and mortgage rates under 4 percent kept home buyer demand at a very robust level throughout the summer,” Yun said about the results of NAR’s latest quarterly report. “Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth, and weakening affordability conditions.” 

Home prices are still far exceeding incomes in several parts of the country, particularly in the largest markets in the South and West, where new-home construction remains constrained compared to the job growth. 

To purchase a single-family home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $55,142, a 10 percent down payment would require an income of $52,240, and $46,435 would be required for a 20 percent down payment, according to NAR. 

At the end of the third quarter, there were 1.9 million existing homes available for sale, 6.4 percent below a year ago. 

Regional Breakdown

The following is how existing-home sales fared across the country in the third quarter:

    • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 7.9 percent and are 0.5 percent below a year ago. Median price: $283,800, up 4.1 percent from a year ago

    • Midwest: existing-home sales decreased 3.3 percent and are 0.8 percent below a year ago. Median price: $202,400, up 5.6 percent from a year ago

    • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.4 percent in the third quarter but remain 0.2 percent higher than a year ago. Median price: $226,100, up 5.5 percent from a year ago

    • West: existing-home sales increased 2.8 percent and are 1.9 percent higher than a year ago. Median price: $373,700, up 7 percent from a year ago

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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