Growth in metropolitan area median home prices increased in the third quarter of 2012, and more areas are showing gains, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The median existing single-family home price rose in 120 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas, based on closings in 3Q 2012 compared to 3Q 2011.
"Housing inventories have been gradually trending down from a record set in the summer of 2007," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Earlier this year, a broad equilibrium began to develop in most areas between home buyers and sellers, which led to a sustained upturn in home prices. We expect fairly normal appreciation patterns in 2013, but there is a risk of price acceleration if builders are unable to increase supply to meet the needs of our growing population and household formation."
The national median existing single-family home price was $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6% from $173,000 in the third quarter of 2011, making it the strongest year-over-year price increase since the first quarter of 2006 when the median price rose 9.4%.
Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condos, was up 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in 3Q 2012, from 4.54 million in the second quarter, and were up 10.3% from the 4.25 million pace in 3Q 2011.
At the end of 3Q 2012, 2.32 million existing homes were available for sale, down 20.0% from 3Q 2011 when 2.90 million homes were on the market.
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