According to the latest quarterly report
by the National Association of Realtors, nearly all of the nation’s metro areas saw price growth and had minimal inventory increases in the first quarter of 2020. Median single-family home prices also rose 7.7%.
Median single-family home prices increased year-over-year in 96% of measured markets in the first quarter, with 174 of 181 metropolitan statistical areas showing sales price gains. That is an increase from the 94% share seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter of 2020 was $274,600, up 7.7% from the first quarter of 2019 ($254,900).
Forty-six metros, mostly in the West and South regions, saw double-digit prices increases. Some of the bigger gains included Boise City, Idaho (18.1%), Eugene, Oregon. (14.5%) and Colorado Springs, Colorado. (14.4%), among others.
“The first quarter price jumps mostly reflect conditions prior to the coronavirus outbreak and show the strength of the housing demand prior to the pandemic,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “Even now, due to very limited listings, home prices are showing no signs of buckling.”
In March, the median sales price of existing homes rose 8% on a year-over-year basis. Yun says the strong desire for housing, paired with the dire inventory totals contributed to higher home prices. “Supply is extremely limited, and there are simply not as many homes for sale to meet the demand among potential buyers,” Yun said. “More supply and more listings are needed to provide a faster recovery for the economy.”
At the end of 2020's first quarter, 1.50 million existing homes were available for sale, 10.2% lower than total inventory at the end of 2019’s first quarter. As of March 2020, housing inventory totals were equivalent to 3.4 months at the current sales pace.
Metro areas that were already deemed the most expensive also saw price jumps in the first quarter. In the West region, median sales prices increased from one year ago in San Jose, Calif. ($1,350,0000; up 10.7%); San Francisco, California ($985,000; 5.9%); Anaheim, California ($875,000; 9.4%); San Diego, California ($670,000; 8.1%); Boulder, Colorado (622,600; 3.1%); Los Angeles, California ($592,800; 8.1%) and Seattle, Washington ($554,400; 11.5%).
“The fast-rising home prices are not healthy, so more homebuilding needs to take place as the economy begins to reopen,” said Yun. “Mortgage rates are at historic lows and those with secure employment will be attracted to the market.”