Sales prices on existing single-family homes during the first quarter were up in approximately 70% of major metro areas – 152 out of 221 markets – according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, the $371,200 national median single-family existing-home price was down by a scant 0.2% from one year earlier – in the previous quarter, the national median price recorded a 4% year-over-year increase.
During the first quarter, NAR found the monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $1,859, which is 33.1% higher from the prior year. Roughly one in 14 markets (7%) posted double-digit annual price appreciation, down from 18% in the previous quarter.
Regionally, the South saw the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (46%) in the first quarter, with year-over-year price appreciation of 1.4%. Prices were up in the Midwest by 2.9% and down in the Northeast and the West by 0.1% and 5.3%, respectively.
“Generally speaking, home prices are lower in expensive markets and higher in affordable markets, implying greater mortgage rate sensitivity for high-priced homes,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, adding that traditionally pricey markets like San Francisco, San Jose and Reno saw home prices decline by at least 10% from last year while metro areas such as Milwaukee, Dayton and Oklahoma City recorded 10% annual increases.
“Home prices are also lower in cities that previously experienced rapid price gains,” Yun added. “For example, home prices grew an astonishing 67% in three years in Boise City and Austin through 2022. The latest price reductions in these areas have improved housing affordability and led to some buyers returning given the sustained, rapid job creation in their respective markets.”
The lack of inventory continued to complicate the picture. NAR determined there were 1.6 million listings at any given time in the firs quarter, a 40% drop from the pre-pandemic first quarter of 2019.