Home Prices Charge Upward
Home prices continue to escalate, charging upward 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The increase, stoked by the strongest quarterly sales pace in a decade, marks three straight quarters of growth.
“Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others—especially for those in the starter home market—which, in turn, quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”
Single-family home prices went up in 85 percent of the markets assessed in the report, or 152 of 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Seventeen percent of, or 30, metro areas saw prices up by double digits. At the national level, the median existing single-family home price was $232,100, and the median existing condominium price was $218,600.
“Last quarter’s robust pace of sales was especially impressive considering the affordability sting buyers experienced from higher prices and mortgage rates,” says Yun. “High demand is poised to continue heading into the summer as long as job gains continue; however, many metro areas need to see a significant rise in new and existing inventory to meet this demand and cool down price growth.”