Median home prices in the majority of metropolitan areas showed gains in the third quarter (Q3), the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in its most recent quarterly report.
According to the NAR, single-family home prices gained in 120 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Q3 2012 when compared with Q3 2011. This is an increase from Q2 2012, when 110 areas experienced home price increases from Q2 the year before.
“Housing inventories have been gradually trending down from a record set in the summer of 2007,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. “Earlier this year, a broad equilibrium began to develop in most areas between home buyers and sellers, which led to a sustained upturn in home prices.”
Yun continued, forecasting what is to come: “We expect fairly normal appreciation patterns in 2013, but there is a risk of price acceleration if builders are unable to increase supply to meet the needs of our growing population and household formation.”
Year-over-year, home prices increased 7.6 percent, with the national median existing home price coming in at $186,100 in Q3 2012, up from $173,000 in Q3 2011. That is the largest yearly price increase since the first quarter (Q1) of 2006, the NAR noted.
Regionally, three of four major areas saw price gains in Q3.
The West experienced the largest year-over-year increase, with home prices spiking 20.2 percent to a median of $247,400 in Q3 2012.
In the South, home prices increased 5.7 percent on a yearly basis to $165,400 in Q3, while the Midwest saw a 4.2 percent gain to $151,100.
Home prices in the Northeast in Q3 dropped slightly, 0.3 percent, from a year earlier to $246,900.