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Local area, most of country sees higher year-over-year home prices

93% of metro areas record increases during first quarter, according to National Association of Realtors

The Washington metropolitan area was among 93 percent of metro areas nationally to post higher year-over-year median sales prices in the first quarter of 2024, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

A total of 205 of the 221 metro areas posted median single-family-home price increases compared to the same period in 2023. The Washington region, with its median sales price of $600,200 increasing 7.7 percent from a year before, outperformed the national increase of 5 percent (to $389,400).

The first-quarter market was buoyed by slightly lower mortgage rates. As a result, 30 percent of the metro areas reported double-digit price gains from a year before, twice the amount in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“In the current market, rising prices are the direct result of insufficient housing supply not meeting the full demand,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

Regionally, all four major areas of the country saw year-over-year increases, albeit at different rates:

• The median sales price in the Northeast was $437,600, up 11 percent.

• The median sales price in the Midwest was $283,100, up 7.4 percent.

• The median sales price in the South was $357,300, up 3.3 percent.

• The median sales price in the West was $600,300, up 7.3 percent.

(While up year-over-year, median sales prices for the first quarter were down in all four corridors compared to 2023’s second- and third-quarter prices, showing the market continues to follow cyclical patterns of stronger spring-summer markets and weaker fall-winter periods.)

The top 10 metro areas with the largest year-over-year median price increases all registered gains of at least 18 percent. Six of the markets were in Illinois and Wisconsin. Overall, those markets were Fond du Lac, Wisc. (+23.7%); Kankakee, Ill. (+22%); Rockford, Ill. (+20.1%); Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (+20%); Johnson City, Tenn. (+19.3%); Racine, Wisc. (+19.0%); Newark, N.J.. (+18.8%); Bloomington, Ill. (+18.5%); New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+18.4%); and Cumberland, Md.-W.Va. (+18.2%).

Eight of the top 10 most expensive markets in the U.S. were in California. Overall, the priciest markets were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,840,000; +13.7%); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. ($1,365,000; +14.2%); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($1,300,000; +14%); Honolulu ($1,085,800; +5.5%); San Diego-Carlsbad ($981,000; +11.5%); San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. ($909,300; +7%); Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. ($908,700; +7.6%); Salinas, Calif. ($899,200; +4.1%); Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. ($850,000; +9.4%); and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale ($823,000; +10.2%).

“The expensive markets in the West, where home prices declined last year, are roaring back,” Yun said. “Price dips in that region were viewed as second-chance opportunities by many buyers.”