Home prices in the U.S. surged 8.8 percent in February — the biggest gain in four years — as buyers battled for an increasingly scarce resource: homes.
While sales were little changed amid the thin inventory, the median price across 172 large metropolitan areas jumped to $285,700, according to a report Thursday from brokerage Redfin Corp. It was the 72nd straight month of year-over-year increases since the market bottomed in 2012.
U.S. home prices are now 6.3 percent higher than their peak in July 2006 and 46 percent above their trough in February 2012, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home-price index.
A strong job market is fueling the price increases even as the number of homes for sale fell 11.4 percent in February from a year earlier — and as mortgage rates hit four-year highs.