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An Uptick for Home-Sale Prices

Redfin reports that U.S. home-sale prices increased 2.7% annually in August to an average of $312,200 across the 217 metros tracked by Redfin. 

“Although home-price gains remained relatively modest in August, supply and demand are now heading back toward sellers’ favor,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Home sales are accelerating as buyers eat into a diminishing number of homes for sale. While these trends are to be expected given that mortgage rates have been declining since late last year, global economic uncertainty and talk of a looming recession in the U.S. are staving off many aspects of hot seller’s market–think bidding wars, fast sales and huge price escalations–at least for now.”

Smaller metros witness the biggest gains over the past year. Knoxville, Tennessee, saw its median-home price rise 15.3% to $219,000 for the nation’s largest gain. Camden, New Jersey, recorded an increase of 12.7%, Greenville, South Carolina, saw home prices rise 11.8%, and the average home price in Salt Lake City, Utah, rose 7.9% to $340,000. 

Salt Lake City is the first market on the list with an average price higher than the national average. 

Redfin reports that just six metros—four located in California—recorded year-over-year declines in median-sale price. The largest decline was the 11.6% drop in San Jose, California. Also included on the list of declining markets were: Bridgeport, Connecticut (-2%); Albany, New York (-1.8%); Anaheim, California (-1.3%); San Francisco, California (-1%), and Oakland, California (-0.1%). 

The report also states that the number of homes sold increased 10.8% year-over-year, and 4.9% from the month prior—the largest increase since March 2017. 

Also showing increases are home values, as Zillow reveals that values in August grew quarter-over-quarter 0.4%. The median U.S. home is now worth $229,600 which is a 4.9% increase from August 2018—the lowest annual change since April 2015.

Each of the 35 largest metros saw home values grow at a slower annual rate than a year ago. Only San Jose, California, and Oakland saw annual declines, 10.8% and 1.9%, respectively. 

Home values in Las Vegas; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Sacramento, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; New York, Los Angeles, California; Washington D.C.; and San Diego, California, fell quarter-to-quarter. 

The fastest-growing market was Indianapolis, Indiana, which had values grow 7.9% from last year, according to Zillow. 

"We have persistently strong consumer confidence and the significant drop in mortgage rates to thank for the housing market's return to modest home value growth," said Zillow Director of Economic Research Skylar Olsen. "While it may be a good time to lock in your 30-year fixed rate, the market is still starved for inventory and it's getting harder again for buyers to find the right home. If current market conditions hold, it wouldn't be a surprise to see home values continue to rise, but we could see a shift if consumer sentiment dips. Similarly, rental markets continue to feel the pressure of under building in the past – a reality not overcome by the surge in large, pricier apartment buildings in downtown areas. Most of these buildings continue to readily lease up, and rent growth is expected to continue."

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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