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Hopeful data on home prices promising, but short-lived?

The NAR report is in for the latest in home prices, with some declines and some increases, it’s uncertain how long these changes will remain.

A city street showing close together housing with different home prices

The monthly mortgage payment on a single-family home in America with a 20% down payment rose to $1,859 according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), up a whopping 33.1% in the last year.

Meanwhile, the national median home price declined slightly from 0.2% from a year ago to $371,200 as 30-year fixed mortgage rates fluctuated between 6.1% and 6.7%.

Roughly 70% of metro areas studied by NAR reported home price gains in the first quarter, and 7% of markets posted double-digit annual price appreciation. Cities like San Jose, San Francisco, and Reno saw prices fall by 10% from lat year while Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, and Dayton saw a 10% increase.

“Generally speaking, home prices are lower in expensive markets and higher in affordable markets, implying greater mortgage rate sensitivity for high-priced homes,” said NAR Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun.

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“Home prices are also lower in cities that previously experienced rapid price gains,” Dr. Yun added. “For example, home prices grew an astonishing 67% in three years in Boise City and Austin through 2022. The latest price reductions in these areas have improved housing affordability and led to some buyers returning given the sustained, rapid job creation in their respective markets.”

He observes that because of tight inventory, affordable homes are seeing multiple offers again, so “price declines could be short-lived.”

The Association reports that an applicant or family currently needs a qualifying income of at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 33% of markets, down from 38% in the prior quarter. An applicant or family needs a qualifying income of less than $50,000 to afford a home in 10% of markets.

Inventory levels remain tight, and despite splashes of hopeful data, the political uncertainty combined with the economic insecurities create ongoing harsh housing market conditions.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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