Over 90% of markets see home prices rise annually during first quarter

Expensive California metros help push national median price up even as mortgage rates grow

Ninety-three percent of metros logged a home price increase during the first three months of the year, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Some 205 out of 221 metros tracked by the NAR saw price gains in the first quarter. Sixty-four (roughly 29%) metros posted double-digit gains, up from 15% in the prior quarter.

“Astonishingly, greater than 90% of the country’s metro areas experienced home price growth despite facing the highest mortgage rates in two decades,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR. “In the current market, rising prices are the direct result of insufficient housing supply not meeting the full demand.”

The median single-family existing home price nationally rose to $389,400 in the first quarter, a 5% pick-up year over year, up from 3.4% one quarter prior. The monthly payment on a typical existing home, assuming a 2% downpayment, was $2,037, down 5.7% (equating to roughly $124) quarter over quarter but up 9.3% (about $173) year over year. Some 24.2% of the typical household’s income went toward mortgage payments in Q1, down from 26.1% from Q4 2023, but up from 23.3% from Q1 2023.

The median home price continues to be pulled upward by prices in expensive coastal areas — especially California, where eight of the top 10 most expensive markets in the country were located. Those markets were topped by San Jose (where the median price during the first quarter was $1.84 million), Anaheim ($1.37 million), San Francisco ($1.30 million), San Diego ($981,000), San Luis Obispo ($909,300), Oxnard-Thousand Oaks ($908,700), Salinas ($899,200) and Los Angeles ($823,000). Only Honolulu ($1.09 million) and Naples, Florida ($850,000) were outside the Golden State.

“The expensive markets in the West, where home prices declined last year, are roaring back,” Yun said. “Price dips in that region were viewed as second-chance opportunities by many buyers.”

Just 7% of tracked metros posted an annual price decline in Q1, slashed from 14% in the fourth quarter of 2023. That includes a pair of major metropolitan areas: Austin, where prices receded 0.3% year over year, and San Antonio, which saw a 4.6% price retreat.


More Headlines