Home prices are continuing to rise in the United States with the median value for a single family home reaching more than $ 1 million in a metro location for the first time. The record prices was reached in San Jose, California, while the vast majority of metro areas seeing prices rise in the second quarter of 2016, the data from the National Association of Realtors shows. Overall the median existing single family home price increased in 83% of measured markets, with 148 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closed sales in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2015. Just 29 metros recorded lower median prices from a year earlier and 25 saw double digit increases. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, a faster pace of home sales amidst languishing inventory levels has pushed home prices higher in most metro areas during the second quarter. ‘Steadily improving local job markets and mortgage rates teetering close to all-time lows brought buyers out in force in many large and middle tier cities,’ he said. ‘However, with homebuilding activity still failing to keep up with demand and not enough current homeowners putting their home up for sale, prices continued their strong ascent and in many markets at a rate well above income growth,’ he added. The national median existing single family home price in the second quarter was $ 240,700, up 4.9% from the second quarter of 2015, which was previously the peak quarterly median sales price. The median price during the first quarter of this year increased 6.1% from the first quarter of 2015. Total existing home sales, including single family and condos, rose 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.5 million in the second quarter from 5.3 million in the first quarter of this year and are 4.2% higher than the 5.28 million pace during the second quarter of 2015. ‘Primarily from repeat buyers moving up or trading down, existing sales increased each month last quarter and could’ve been even higher if not for a few speedbumps. Closings were slowed a bit by meagre supply levels and home prices in many areas that are still rising too fast,’ Yun explained. At the end of the second quarter, there were 2.12 million existing homes available for sale, which was below the 2.25 million homes for sale at the end of the second quarter in 2015. The average supply during the second quarter was 4.7 months, down from 5.1 months a year ago. According to Yun, without enough new construction being built, existing inventory seriously failed to keep up with the growing demand for buying. As a result, homes typically stayed on the market for around a month throughout the second quarter and over 40% of listings sold at or above list price, with June being the highest share since NAR began tracking in December 2012. Yun pointed out that many listings in… Continue reading
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