Prices for single-family homes climbed in three-quarters of U.S. cities and values nationally jumped the most since 2006 as real estate markets stabilized.
The median sales price increased in the second quarter from a year earlier in 110 of 147 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the first quarter, 74 areas had gains.
U.S. housing prices are beginning to lift off the bottom after the worst housing slump since the 1930s as buyers compete for a tight supply of available properties. At the end of June, 2.39 million previously owned homes were available for sale, 24 percent fewer than a year earlier, the Realtors said.
“The turnaround in home prices feels pretty broad,” Celia Chen, a housing economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said yesterday. “There are still risks that home prices will dip a little more before they start appreciating with any consistency,”
The national median existing single-family home price was $181,500 in the second quarter, up 7.3 percent from the same period last year, the strongest annual increase since the first quarter of 2006, according to the Realtors group. Distressed properties, including discounted foreclosures and short sales, in which the price is less than the mortgage balance, accounted for 26 percent of second-quarter deals, down from 33 percent a year earlier.
The share of all-cash home purchases was 29 percent in the second quarter, down from 30 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Investors, who make up the bulk of cash purchasers and compete with first-time buyers, accounted for 19 percent of all transactions, matching the share a year earlier.