U.S. home prices jump in Q2, surpassing 2016 high

by Rincey Abraham

High demand and low supply continues to push up home prices across the country, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

The national median single-family home price increased 6.2 percent from $240,700 in Q2 2016 to $255,600, which is also 6.9 percent higher than Q1 2017. This passes the third quarter peak from 2016 of $241,300.

“The glaring need for more new home construction is creating an affordability crisis that needs to be addressed by policy officials and local governments,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “An increasing share of would-be buyers are being priced out of the market and are unable to experience the wealth building benefits of homeownership.”

Single-family home prices increased in 87 percent of the markets in Q2. This is higher than the first quarter of this year where 85 percent of markets showed price gains.

NAR found that there were 1.96 million existing homes available for sale at the end of the second quarter, which is 7.1 percent below levels in the second quarter of 2016. The average supply was 4.2 months, which is also down from 4.6 months last year.

“The 2.2 million net new jobs created over the past year generated significant interest in purchasing a home in what was an extremely competitive spring buying season,” he said. “Listings typically flew off the market in under a month – and even quicker in the affordable price range – in several parts of the country. With new supply not even coming close to keeping pace, price appreciation remained swift in most markets.”

Home prices in the Midwest increased 4.2 percent in Q2, down slightly from the same period last year. The median home price increased 6.6 percent from last year to $204,000.