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Home prices hit new peak

Single-family home prices have reached an all-time high in 64 percent of the nation’s metropolitan areas, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Prices were at record highs in 114 of 177 metropolitan statistical areas in the fourth quarter, the trade group said. The national median price for a single-family home was $247,800, up 5.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. In the fourth quarter, prices rose in 92 percent of the measured metros.

“Remarkably, home prices have risen a cumulative 48 percent since 2011, yet during this same time frame, incomes are up only 15 percent,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“In the West region, where very healthy labor markets are driving demand, the gap is even wider,” Yun said.

The five most expensive housing markets were the San Jose, California metro area, where the median existing single-family home price was $1,270,000; followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California, $920,000; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California, $785,000; urban Honolulu, $760,600; and San Diego-Carlsbad, $610,000.

NAR said for-sale inventories dropped to record lows in the fourth quarter. There were 1.48 million existing homes available for sale, 10.3 percent below the 1.65 million homes for sale a year earlier, the trade group said. The average supply during the fourth quarter was 3.5 months, down from 4.2 months in the fourth quarter of last year.


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