The National Association of Realtors just released its quarterly update for median home prices in metropolitan areas.
The good news: Prices are up more than 7% nationwide and three out of the four markets are improving.
The bad news: the Northeast still is in the doldrums, with median prices declining in many big cities and the region’s overall pricing still below 2009 levels. That’s particularly disturbing because the nominal prices are much higher in markets around New York City and Boston than in the Midwest.
The good news is that the hardest-hit areas, including the Phoenix area and Detroit, have rebounded significantly.
According to the NAR, “the median existing single-family home price rose in 110 out of 147 metropolitan statistical areas … three areas were unchanged and 34 had price declines.”
Here’s the crux of the report:
“The national median existing single-family home price was $181,500 in the second quarter, up 7.3 percent from $169,100 in the second quarter of 2011. This is the strongest year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2006 when the median price rose 9.4 percent, but even with the gain the current price is 20.1 percent below the record set in 2006.”
So what are the hottest and coldest markets? Here are the five fastest-growing and five fastest-declining metro markets, according to Q2 numbers:
Coldest Housing Markets
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.: Median price $374,900, down 12.9% from Q2 of 2011.
- Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.: Median price $100,600, down 9.4%
- Elmira, N.Y.: Median price $105,700, down 8.2%
- Atlantic City, N.J.: Median price $218,700, down 7.7%
- Pittsfield, Mass.: Median price $182,200, down 7.6%
Hottest Housing Markets
- Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich.: Median price $60,200, up 29.2% from Q2 2011.
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.: Median price $148,400, up 29%.
- Boise City-Nampa, Idaho: Median price $138,200, up 21.7%.
- Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.: Median price $131,600, up 16.5%.
- Akron, Ohio: Median price $116,700, up 16.5%.
Growth by Region
- U.S.: Overall median house price of $181,500, up 7.3% from Q2 2011.
- Northeast: Median price of $241,300, down 1.6%.
- Midwest: Median price of $149,400, up 7.5%.
- South: Median price of $163,200, up 7.4%.
- West: Median price of $234,000, up 13.4%.
The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions.
For more details, read the full National Association of Realtors report.