Home prices rose in the vast majority of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a recent report.
According to the NAR, year-over-year home price gains were seen in Q1 in 133 of 150 MSAs analyzed. One year ago, in Q1 2012, year-over-year home price gains occurred in 74 of 150 MSAs. The expectation, the report noted, is for continued modest growth in the near future.
“If home builders can continue to ramp up production, then home price growth is expected to moderate in 2014,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement.
All four major U.S. regions experienced year-over-year home price increases in Q1.
The West saw the largest year-over-year rise in home prices in Q1 with a 24.4 percent increase up to a median single-family home price of $247,800.
Single-family home prices rose 9.3 percent yearly in the South in Q1 – up to a median price of $156,800, while the median home price in the Midwest rose 8.2 percent from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 to $135,100.
Additionally, the median home price in the Northeast rose 2.9 percent yearly to $234,000 in Q1.
“Some of the previously hard-hit markets like Phoenix, Sacramento and Miami continue to experience a dramatic turnaround, while a new set of areas like Atlanta, Minneapolis and Seattle have begun to show strong signs of upward momentum,” Yun said.
Despite rising home prices across the U.S., the market is not completely tilted in favor of sellers, the report noted.
“Even with rising home prices, there is still plenty of buying power in the market,” Gary Thomas, NAR President, said in a statement. “Historically low mortgage interest rates and home prices that remain well below their peak mean most buyers can purchase well within their means, assuming they meet ongoing stringent credit standards.”