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Housing Trends

December 2017

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Broad Stabilization in Second Quarter Metro Area Home Prices with Strong Sales

Washington, August 11, 2010 The trend in firming home prices solidified in the second quarter with more metropolitan areas showing increases from a year ago, aided by a surge in home sales driven by the home buyer tax credit, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors®.

In the second quarter, 100 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) had higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the second quarter of 2009, including 14 with double-digit increases; two were unchanged and 53 metros showed price declines. In the first quarter of this year 91 areas had higher prices, while only 26 MSAs experienced annual price gains in second quarter of 2009.

The national median existing single-family price was $176,900 in the second quarter, up 1.5 percent from $174,200 in the same period of 2009. The median is where half sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed homes accounted for 32 percent of second quarter sales, down from 36 percent a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the correction in home prices appears to have ended in 2009. “All year we’ve been seeing relatively flat national home prices, which appear to be supported by market fundamentals,” he said. “Prices in some areas remain below replacement construction costs, so even with an elevated supply of existing homes on the market we don’t expect any consequential movement in home prices for the foreseeable future. Very low inventory of newly built homes also will help to support home values.”

Yun urged caution on interpreting price data. “The median price is influenced by the mix of homes that were sold and do not reflect pure appreciation or depreciation,” he said. “The recorded home prices in many markets were significantly depressed last year because of a large percentage of distressed homes sold at discount. Now as more normal, non-distressed home sales are occurring, the median price in many areas is showing higher values.”

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 9.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate2 of 5.61 million in the second quarter from 5.14 million in the first quarter, and were 17.3 percent above the 4.78 million-unit pace in the second quarter of 2009.

Sales increased from the first quarter in 44 states and the District of Columbia; 47 states and D.C. had increases over year-ago sales levels.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz., said record low mortgage interest rates will help cushion a summer slowdown. “As expected, sales are slowing down now that the home buyer tax credit has expired, but record-low mortgage interest rates, along with stable and affordable home prices in most areas, provide opportunities for buyers who weren’t able to take advantage of the credit,” she said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage was a record low 4.91 percent in the second quarter, down from 5.00 percent in the first quarter; it was 5.03 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

“Job creation will give home buyers more confidence, but the market over the next few months is likely to be below what we would expect for the size of our growing population,” Golder said. “With improving bank balance sheets, credit restrictions should gradually improve – Realtors® are a great resource for consumer information on loan availability as well as neighborhood market conditions, which vary widely.”

In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 55 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was relatively flat at $175,700 in the second quarter, down 0.5 percent from the second quarter of 2009. Twenty-six metros showed increases in the median condo price from a year ago and 29 areas had declines; the first quarter of 2010 showed 24 metros up, while only four metros saw annual price gains in second quarter of 2009.

Regionally, the median existing single-family home price in the Northeast declined 3.2 percent to $238,000 in the second quarter from a year earlier. Existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 14.9 percent in the second quarter to a level of 980,000 and are 23.6 percent above the second quarter of 2009.

In the Midwest, the median existing single-family home price increased 1.4 percent to $148,500 in the second quarter from the second quarter of last year. Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 14.5 percent in the second quarter to a pace of 1.30 million and are 20.9 percent above the same period in 2009.

In the South, the median existing single-family home price slipped 2.0 percent to $155,500 in the second quarter from the second quarter of 2009. Existing-home sales in the South increased 10.9 percent in the second quarter to an annual rate of 2.10 million and are 18.8 percent above a year ago.

The median existing single-family home price in the West rose 2.6 percent to $219,700 in the second quarter from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the West fell 2.6 percent in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.23 million but are 7.6 percent higher than the second quarter of 2009.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

NOTE: Data tables for both metro area home prices and state existing-home sales are posted at:

www.realtor.org/research/research/metroprice. For areas not covered in the tables, please contact the local association of Realtors®.



There often are differences between NAR’s data and locally reported data because of differences in methodology, which may include the geographic coverage area, housing types, and Census benchmarking used in NAR’s model. More importantly, there is a parallel between the percentage changes over time that is typically seen even when using different methodologies.

1Areas are generally metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. A list of counties included in MSA definitions is available at: www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/0312msa.txt.



Regional median home prices include rural areas and samples of many smaller metros that are not included in this report; the regional percentage changes do not necessarily parallel changes in the larger metro areas. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Quarter-to-quarter comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns.

NAR began tracking of metropolitan area median single-family home prices in 1979; the metro area condo price series dates back to 1989.



Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price generally is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes. As the reporting sample expands in the future, additional areas will be included in the condo price report.

2The seasonally adjusted annual rate for a particular quarter represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative sales pace for that quarter was maintained for four consecutive quarters. Total home sales include single family, townhomes, condominiums and co-operative housing. NAR began tracking the state sales series in 1981.



Seasonally adjusted rates are used in reporting quarterly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, sales volume normally is higher in the summer and relatively light in winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and household buying patterns.

Third quarter metro area home price and state resale data will be released November 11 at 10 a.m. EST.

Source: National Association of Realtors®