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Big Cities, Small Home Price Gains

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported metro market home prices rose 3.9% year-over-year, but at a slower pace than the previous quarter.

Existing single-family homes had an average price of $254,800 in the first quarter, up from $245,300 from Q1 2018.

The report adds that single-family home prices increase in 86% of markets last quarter, with 153 of 178 metro markets showing sale price growth compared to 2018. Additionally, 13 metro area had double-digit increases, which is a slight decrease from 14 markets in Q4 2018.

“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist.

Total existing home sales, including single-family homes and condos, increased 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.2 million in the first quarter, which is an increase from 5.1 million in Q4 2018. That is 5.4% lower than the 5.5 million-pace in Q1 2018.

The five most expensive metro markets in the first quarter were the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, market, where the average house price is $1.2 million. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California, came in at second at $930,000.

The least expensive metro market in the first quarter was Decatur, Illinouis, with an average home price of $80,800.

“There are vast home price differences among metro markets,” Yun said. “The condition of extremely high home prices may not be sustainable in light of many alternative metro markets that are much more affordable. Therefore, a shift in job search and residential relocations into more affordable regions of the country is likely in the future.”

All regions saw a year-over-year decrease in existing home sales in Q1 2019, with homes in the West region 10.7% below a year ago, despite a 2.8% growth in Q1 2019.

The report added the median income rose nationally to $77,752 in the Q1 2019, alt

National family median income rose to $77,752 in the first quarter, while higher home prices caused overall affordability to decrease from last year.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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