Growth in metropolitan area median home prices increased in the third quarter, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR reports that the median existing single-family home price rose in 120 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas, based on closings in the third quarter, compared with same quarter in 2011, while 29 areas had price declines. In the second quarter, 110 areas showed increases from a year earlier, while in the third quarter of 2011, only 39 metros were up.
The national median existing single-family home price was $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6% from $173,000 in the third quarter of 2011, which NAR says is the strongest year-over-year price increase since the first quarter of 2006, when the median price rose 9.4%. In the second quarter, the price increased 7.2% from a year earlier.
Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in the third quarter from 4.54 million in the second quarter, and were 10.3% higher than the 4.25 million pace during the third quarter of 2011. At the end of the third quarter, 2.32 million existing homes were available for sale, which is 20% below the close of the third quarter of 2011 when 2.90 million homes were on the market.Â
‘Housing inventories have been gradually trending down from a record set in the summer of 2007,’ says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. ‘Earlier this year, a broad equilibrium began to develop in most areas between home buyers and sellers, which led to a sustained upturn in home prices. We expect fairly normal appreciation patterns in 2013, but there is a risk of price acceleration if builders are unable to increase supply to meet the needs of our growing population and household formation.’