Median existing single-family home price rose 10.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 year-over-year, the strongest yearly increase for home prices since the fourth quarter of 2005, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That’s up from an 8.8 percent yearly increase in the third quarter, and brings the median home price up to $178,900. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said a number of factors are at play in housing’s strong performance.
“Home sales are on a sustained uptrend, mortgage interest rates are hovering near record lows and unsold inventory is at the lowest level in 12 years,” he said. “Home sales are being fueled by a pent-up demand and job creation, along with still favorable affordability conditions and rents rising at faster rates. Our population has been growing faster than overall housing stock, so supply and demand dynamics are very much at play.”
Vickey Wachtel, the broker/owner of Imagine Realty International in Katy, said that prices have risen strongly in her area, particularly with new construction.
“Prices went from $100 per square foot in 2011 to $120 per square foot in 2012,” she said, adding that with many of the area’s older homes being renovated with newer furnishings, she sees the $120 price point as the new normal for the area.
Also, as our infographic below demonstrates, NAR found that more and more metropolitan markets have shown price increases as the real estate market has recovered. Highlight the graph with your cursor to see how many metro markets saw their home prices rise last year!