From the Wall Street Journal:
The National Association of Realtors said that home-price appreciation, after easing earlier this year, is starting to pick up.
However, price gains have slowed sharply in some of the cities that benefited the most from the housing rebound.
The group on Thursday said the median price of an existing single-family home was $217,300 in the third quarter, up 4.9% from a year earlier. That was faster than in the second quarter, when the median price was up 4.2%.
Prices still haven’t returned to the peak, which was $227,600 in the third quarter of 2005, according to the NAR.
The association said that prices rose in 125 of the 172 metropolitan areas that it tracks, compared to 122 of 173 metro areas in the last quarter.
In the latest quarter, prices rose the most quickly in the Midwest, where they gained 5%, while the Northeast saw the median price rise only 2.2% from the year before.
Prices rose the fastest in the metro areas including Daytona Beach, Fla., Toledo, Ohio, and Naples, Fla., according to the report, while they fell the most sharply in Cumberland, Md., New London, Conn., and Tampa, Fla.
Jed Kolko, chief economist for real-estate information website Trulia, said that price gain slowdowns have been largely concentrated in cities that saw the biggest rebound after the housing crisis. On the other hand, in non-boom-and-bust markets, price gains have been tied more largely to economic factors, such as job and wage growth, and stayed steady, he said.
“As the recovery continues, the rebound effect becomes less important. Home price gains will increasingly reflect local fundamentals,” he said.