Monday, May 13, 2013

Housing Rebound Grows as Prices Climb Sharply

Home prices in metropolitan areas saw their biggest year-over-year gains in more than seven years in the first quarter, evidence that the housing recovery is spreading across the nation. The National Association of Realtors said that the national median closing price for an existing single-family house was $176,600 in the first quarter, up 11.3% from the first quarter of 2012. That was the largest year-over-year gain since the end of 2005. Of the 150 metro areas tracked by the NAR, sale prices rose in 133 and declined in 17. “The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Prices were up 32.6% in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area; 32.1% in Reno-Sparks, Nev.; 31.7% in the Silicon Valley area surrounding San Jose; 31.1% in Atlanta; and 30.1% in Phoenix. A companion study showed that despite the rise in prices, homes remain relatively affordable and low mortgage interest rates have given home buyers “ample buying power” in the current market, NAR said Full Article

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