Washington, DC, Feb. 12, 2015 — The majority of metropolitan areas experienced steady but slightly stronger price growth in the fourth quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.
The median existing single-family home price increased in 86% of measured markets, with 150 out of 1,751 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.
Twenty-four areas (14%) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier.
There were more rising markets in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, when price increases were recorded in 73% of metro areas.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says improved sales activity compared to a year ago and tightening supply contributed to faster price appreciation in the final quarter of 2014.
“Home prices in metro areas throughout the country continue to show solid price growth, up 25% over the past three years on average,” he said.
“This is good news for current homeowners but remains a challenge for buyers who are seeing home prices continue to outpace their wages. Low interest rates helped preserve affordability last quarter, but it’ll take stronger income gains and more housing supply to help meet the pent-up demand for buying.”
The national median existing single-family home price in the fourth quarter was $208,700, up 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2013 ($196,900). For all of 2014, the median price increased 4.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier; 4.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier; and 8.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier.