The association’s fourth-quarter metro area single-family home price report, covering 145 metropolitan statistical areas,* shows a record 72 areas with double-digit annual increases in median existing single-family home prices and only six areas posting price declines. The previous record for areas showing double-digit price appreciation was 69 metros in the third quarter of 2004.
The national median existing single-family home price was $213,000 in the fourth quarter, up 13.6 percent from a year earlier when the median price was $187,500. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. In the third quarter of 2005, the annual rate of home-price appreciation was 14.7 percent.
David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the modest dip in appreciation is an early sign of a market adjustment. “Although home sales have eased, the tremendous momentum in price appreciation was sustained in the fourth quarter because tight inventories still favored sellers,” he said. “The good news is that the supply of homes on the market has been trending up and we are entering a period of a more normal balance in supply and demand.”
Beginning with this report, NAR is launching a new series on metro area condominium and cooperative prices, covering changes in 51 markets; co-ops are a very small market share and are included with condo data. In the fourth quarter, the national median existing condo price was $228,200, which is 12.3 percent higher than a year ago. In all, 27 areas showed double-digit annual gains in the median condo price; there were seven areas with declines.
“The national condo price is higher than the median single-family home price because there is a high concentration of condos in the most expensive metropolitan areas,” Lereah said. “The data shows that within a given area, the typical single-family home costs more than the median condo price.”
NAR President Thomas M. Stevens said the long-term outlook for home prices and sales is favorable. “There is a powerful underlying demand for homes from a growing population, which will keep housing at a high plateau,” said Stevens, senior vice president of NRT Inc.
“The children of the baby boom generation, often called the echo-boomers, are the second largest generation in U.S. history and are just entering the period in which people typically buy their first home. Along with a strong immigrant impact, and the boomers themselves who remain in peak earnings years, this means the need for housing will stay strong over the next decade and long-term prices will continue to rise,” Stevens said.
View Metro Home Prices Data
The biggest single-family price increase in the nation was in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area of Arizona, where the fourth quarter price of $268,400 rose 48.9 percent from a year earlier. Next was Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Fla., at $293,100, up 48.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004. Orlando, Fla., with a fourth quarter median price of $261,800, was up 42.0 percent in the last year.
In the Northeast, the median resale single-family home price during the fourth quarter was $240,300, up 8.0 percent from a year ago. The strongest increase in the region was in the New York City-Wayne-White Plains area of New York and New Jersey, at $537,300, up 19.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004, followed by Reading, Pa., with a median price of $143,200, up 16.9 percent, and the larger region of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, at $459,600, up 16.0 percent.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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* Areas are generally metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. A list of counties included in MSA definitions is available at:
Regional median home prices include rural areas and samples of many smaller metros that are not included in this report; the regional percentage changes do not necessarily parallel changes in the larger metro areas. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Quarter-to-quarter comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns.
NAR began publication of metropolitan area median single-family home prices in 1982; the metro area condo price series is being launched with this report.
Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes. As the reporting sample expands in the future, additional area will be included in the condo price report.
Tables of metropolitan area median prices, percent changes and some historic data are available at the site below – under Research, click on Existing Home Sales, then Metropolitan Area Prices.
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