NAR: Prices continue to climb in metro areas.

The latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors highlights the steady price growth in metro areas across the United States.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated,

“Sales activity to start the year was notably higher than a year ago, as steady hiring and low interest rates encouraged more buyers to enter the market…However, stronger demand without increasing supply led to faster price growth in many markets.”

Fifty-one metro areas in the first quarter (28%) experienced double-digit increases, a sharp increase from the 24 metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014. Thirty-seven metro areas (22%) experienced double-digit increases in the first quarter of 2014.

The median existing single-family home price jumped in 85% of measured markets, with 148 out of 174 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2014.

The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $205,200, up 7.4% from the first quarter of 2014 ($191,100). The median price during the fourth quarter of 2014 increased 6% from a year earlier.

Lawrence Yun went on to comment on the sentiment among many potential sellers in the market,

“Some homeowners are hesitant to move-up and sell because they aren’t confident they’ll find another home to buy. This trend – in addition to subpar homebuilding activity – is leading to the ongoing inventory shortages and subsequent run-up in prices seen in many markets.”

Total existing-home sales, including single family and condo, slipped to 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Yet this 6.2% is still higher than the 4.67 million pace during the first quarter of 2014.  At the end of the first quarter, there were around 2 million existing homes for sale, which remained above the 1.96 million homes for sale at the end of the first quarter in 2014.

View the original article here.

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