The national median existing single-family home price during the first quarter was $232,100, a 6.9 percent increase from $217,2000 in the first quarter of 2016, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
. This is the fastest growth rate since the second quarter of 2015 (8.2 percent).
Single-family home prices in the first quarter increased in 85 percent of NAR’s measured markets, with 152 out of 178 metro areas recording year-over-year sales price gains. However, 25 metro areas recorded lower median prices from a year earlier. Total existing-home sales, including single family and condos, reached 5.62 million in the first quarter—the highest since first quarter of 2007 at 5.66 million. The first quarter level was 1.4 percent above the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and are five percent higher than the 5.36 million pace during the first quarter of 2016.
However, there were 1.83 million existing homes available for sale at the end of the first quarter, 6.6 percent below the 1.96 million homes for sale at the end of the first quarter in 2016. The average supply during the first quarter was 3.7 months, down from 4.2 months in the first quarter of last year.
“Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others, especially for those in the starter-home market, which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”