Industry News

Metro-area home appreciation cools

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Median existing-home prices are increasing at respectable rates in most metropolitan areas but the rate of growth has cooled, according to the latest quarterly survey by National Association of Realtors. The association's fourth-quarter metro area home price report, covering changes in 127 metropolitan statistical areas, shows 33 areas with double-digit annual increases in median existing-home prices and 22 with generally small price declines. A total of 74 metros appreciated faster than the national historic norm. The national median existing-home price was $171,600 in the fourth quarter, 6.6 percent higher than a year earlier when the median price was $161,100. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said home prices are coming off of their strongest gains in 23 years. "In the third quarter the median price was 10 percent above a year earlier, the strongest rate of appreciation since ...