Are Home Prices Really On The Rise?

A recent article published by Inman News contributor Teke Wiggin titled “Home prices post biggest gain in more than 7 years” announces that yes, home prices are going up. Inman News states that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has indicated that market conditions are improving considerably for home sellers and home sales are continuing to increase in 2013.

The NAR’s quarterly reports show that the median home price has risen 11.3 percent since the last report, raising the median home price from $158,600 to $176,600. The NAR says this has been the “largest year-over-year price gain since the fourth quarter of 2005”, which is great news for home sellers.

In most of the country the supply/demand balance favors sellers right now and the NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says that they expect inventory conditions to remain constrained in 2013. They expect home price growth to moderate in 2014.

According to the NAR, the existing-home inventory for the first quarter of 2013 was lower than in 2012; 2.32 million homes were for sale in 2012 and only 1.93 million homes were listed for sale this year, which represents a 16.8 percent drop from the previous year.

In addition to the increase in asking price, home sales are up 0.8 percent from the last quarter and are up 9.8 percent from the first quarter of 2012 (one year ago). According to the NAR, the last time sales were this high was in the fourth quarter of 2009 when home sales were being stimulated by tax incentives.

CNN Money News reports a similar finding in their survey of 147 metropolitan areas and based upon information from the NAR. They report that in Phoenix there has been a 55.2 percent increase in home prices in the last year. Nationally, there was a 14.7 percent increase in the average home price since last year. The NAR reported that out of the 147 metropolitan areas surveyed, only six of them decreased in value. The Western portion of the nation recorded the highest gain (about 18.8 percent), next is the Northeast with a gain of 13.2 percent, followed closely by the Midwest with a gain of 13.1 percent, and the smallest gain (7.7 percent) was in the South.

Columbus, Ohio experienced a gain of 3.7 percent, increasing the median price of homes to $155,900.

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