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National Home Prices on the Rise

Home prices keep making strong gains with almost every major metro area in the U.S. seeing a year-over-year home increase in the first quarter. Those gains were in the double-digits in 89% of those metros areas too, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

National Home Price

National Home Price

Nationwide, the median existing single-family home price jumped to $319,200, up 16.2% from a year ago and the highest since the NAR began keeping records in 1989.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the price increases illustrate the ongoing strong demand and low supply of houses across the country.

“The record high home prices are happening across nearly all markets, big and small, even in those metros that have long been considered off the radar in prior years for many home seekers,” Yun said.

Home sellers are of course benefiting, but that only happens if they don’t need to buy a new home too. Buyers face big challenges, with the average national monthly mortgage payment rising to $1.067 during Q1, up from $995 a year ago. That happened even though the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.93% in the quarter, down from 3.57% a year ago.

“The sudden price appreciation is impacting affordability, especially among first-time home buyers,” Yun said. “With low inventory already impacting the market, added skyrocketing costs have left many families facing the realities of being priced out entirely.”

The metro area with the biggest price gains in the quarter was Kingston, N.Y., where prices jumped by 35% to a median of $303,100. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J., Barnstable Town, Mass., and Boise City-Nampa, Idaho also saw home price gains of 30% or more.

The most expensive real estate market in the U.S. remains San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., where median prices rose to $1.5 million, up 11.1% from a year ago. Homes in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. and Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif., also cost upwards of $1 million on average.

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