Home prices continue on at a clip, surging 6.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The pace outdoes the previous peak observed in the third quarter of 2016.
“The 2.2 million net new jobs created over the past year generated significant interest in purchasing a home in what was an extremely competitive spring buying season,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Listings typically flew off the market in under a month—and even quicker in the affordable price range—in several parts of the country. With new supply not even coming close to keeping pace, price appreciation remained swift in most markets.”
Single-family home prices went up in 87 percent of the markets assessed in the report, or 154 of 178 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Thirteen percent of, or 23, metro areas saw prices up by double digits. At the national level, the median existing single-family home price was $255,600, and the median existing condominium price was $239,500.
Home prices in the West grew at the highest year-over-year rate, 7.5 percent to a median existing single-family value of $372,400, according to the report. Prices in the South followed at 6.7 percent to a median $229,400, while prices in the Midwest were up 6.6 percent to a median $204,000. Prices in the Northeast grew at the lowest year-over-year rate, 3.2 percent to a median $282,300.
Affordability, again, shrunk in the second quarter. A homebuyer with a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $56,169 to afford a single-family home priced at the national median. A homebuyer with a 10 percent down payment would need an income of $53,213, and a homebuyer with a 20 percent down payment would need an income of $47,300.
“The glaring need for more new-home construction is creating an affordability crisis that needs to be addressed by policy officials and local governments,” Yun says. “An increasing share of would-be buyers are being priced out of the market and are unable to experience the wealth-building benefits of homeownership.”
The most expensive metro areas by median existing single-family price in the second quarter were San Jose, Calif. ($1,183,400); San Francisco, Calif. ($950,000); Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif. ($788,000); Honolulu, Hawaii ($760,600); and San Diego, Calif. ($605,000). The least expensive metro areas were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio ($87,000); Cumberland, Md. ($98,200); Decatur, Ill. ($107,400); Binghamton, N.Y. ($109,000); and Elmira, N.Y. ($111,600).
Existing-home sales, including condos, fell 0.9 percent to 5.57 million in the second quarter, according to the report. Existing homes available for sale were down 7.1 percent year-over-year to 1.96 million at the end of the quarter, with an average supply of 4.6 months.
“Mortgage rates have subsided in recent months, which has only somewhat helped take away some of the sting prospective buyers are experiencing with the deteriorating affordability conditions in many areas,” says Yun. “Household incomes may be rising and giving consumers assurance that now is a good time to buy, but these severe inventory shortages will likely continue to be a drag on sales potential the second half of the year.”
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