Metro homes saw the strongest quarterly sales pace in a decade, which put pressure on existing inventory levels and led to the third consecutive quarter of accelerated home prices, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.
The national median existing single-family home price rose 6.9 percent to $232,100 compared to $217,200 since the first quarter of 2016. This also is the fastest growth since the second quarter of 2015 when it saw an 8.2 percent increase.
Single-family home prices increased in 85 percent of the markets analyzed by NAR and 152 out of 178 MSAs showed sales price gains compared to the first quarter of 2016. Only 14 percent of the markets showed lower median prices compared to last year.
Total existing home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in the first quarter, a 1.4 percent increase from 5.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a 5.0 percent increase from 5.36 of the first quarter of 2016.
The number of homes available for sale decreased to 1.83 million, down 6.6 percent from 1.96 million homes available for sale at the end of the first quarter of 2016. The average supply was 3.7 months in the first quarter, which is down from 4.2 months this time last year.
“Last quarter’s robust pace of sales was especially impressive considering the affordability sting buyers experienced from higher prices and mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “High demand is poised to continue heading into the summer as long as job gains continue. However, many metro areas need to see a significant rise in new and existing inventory to meet this demand and cool down price growth.”