The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said today that home affordability remains high despite rising home prices in U.S. metropolitan areas in the first quarter. The annual price increase posted in Quarter One was the greatest in over seven years but NAR figures demonstrates that the typical buyer receives almost twice the income required to purchase a median priced home in his or her area.
Weigh against $158,600 to the previous year the median price of an existing single-family home rose to $176,600 in the first quarter. An 11.3 percent leap is the greatest raise since Q4 2005 when the increase back then was 13.6 percent. Out of the 140 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) followed by NAR 133 demonstrated a yearly increase in median prices; the alike number which illustrated a twelve-monthly increase in Q4 but almost twice the number, 74, with such a year-over-year development in the first quarter of 2012.
NAR said that some of the price increase reflected a shrinking market share of lower priced homes and distressed sales and greater activity in the higher price ranges. There was a 23 percent share of distressed sales of the market in the first quarter compared to the 32 percent share in the previous year.
Median prices of condo and condominium prices located in urban areas ascend 4 percent on a yearly basis in the first quarter to $172,400. Thirty-nine metros out of the 54 tracked by NAR showed increases in their median condo price from a year ago while 15 areas had declines.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said many areas are experiencing a seller's market. "The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country," he said. "Inventory conditions are expected to remain fairly constrained this year, so overall price increases should be well above the historic gain of one-to-two percentage points above the rate of inflation. If home builders can continue to ramp up production, then home price growth is expected to moderate in 2014."
The highest since the fourth quarter of 2009 when homebuyer tax credits were in place is the total existing-home sales including single-family and condos rose 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in the first quarter. The rate was a boost of 4 percent starting the fourth quarter pace of 4.90 million and 9.8 percent higher compare to the year earlier.
NAR said that to qualify to purchase a home at the national median price during the first quarter a borrower with a 20 percent downpayment would need an income of $30,700. With only a five percent downpayment the qualifying income would be $36,500. The national median income was $62,200.
After the first quarter there were 1.93 million homes available for sale. It is 16.8 percent below the close of the initial quarter of 2012, when 2.32 million homes were on the market.
In the first quarter, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 4.4 percent furthermore, are 9.1 percent above the first quarter of 2012. In the first quarter from a year ago, the median existing single-family home price in the Northeast rose 2.9 percent to $234,000.
Existing-home sales increased 1.2 percent in the first quarter and are 15.0 percent higher than a year ago in the Midwest. In the first quarter from the same quarter last year, the median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 8.2 percent to $135,10.
In the South edged, existing-home sales up 0.7 percent in the first quarter and comparing to the first quarter of 2012 with just 13.3 percent above. The regional median existing single-family home price was $156,800 in the first quarter, up 9.3 percent from a year earlier.
The West is the region most impacted by limited housing supplies and its existing-home sales slipped 1.1 percent in the first quarter but are 0.6 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West leaped 24.4 percent to $247,800 in the first quarter of 2012.