Editor’s note: Data from Realtor.com’s June 2012 Real Estate Trend Data Report. The report analyzes data for 146 U.S. metros and includes single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops.

Three California metros — Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, San Francisco and Oakland — shot to the top five of metros with the largest year-over-year percentage median list price jump, according to Realtor.com data through June 2012. They also claim the highest list prices in the top 10 (outside of Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(D.C.)’s $425,000) with June 2012 median list prices of $699,000, $725,000 and $379,000, respectively.

Median list prices in the country are on the rise, too.

For the sixth month in a row, median list prices of for-sale U.S. homes — at $195,000 as of June — have increased from the previous month, according to Realtor.com’s June 2012 real estate report. This trend, along with a 20 percent drawdown in inventory — and close to 10 percent fewer days of for-sale homes on market — from a year ago, indicate to some that U.S. housing is in the gentle stages of a recovery, on the upcurve of its long, low bottom.

Data Point Percent Change, June 2011 to June 2012 Value
Median List Price 2.68% $195,000
Number of Listings -19.35% 1.89 million
Median Age of Inventory -9.67% 84

Source: Realtor.com

The U.S.-wide median list price rose to $195,000 in June, 0.05 percent higher than May’s median list price and 2.68 percent higher than last June’s. Throughout the country, median list prices have held steady for roughly the last two years, after experiencing a precipitous slide from a high of $250,000 in 2007, when Realtor.com first started tracking them.

However, this six-month stretch of consecutive month-over-month median list price increase through June 2012 is the longest sustained stretch of growth this chart has seen.

Source: Realtor.com

Another indicator of a general housing recovery — for-sale inventory is down 19.35 percent from June 2011 to 1.89 million homes. And it’s fresher — down 9.67 percent to a median 84 days on market from a 93-day mark a year ago.

Also, this month’s data begins to solidify a geographical boom-to-bust-to-recovery trend: a hard-hit-area comeback. The inventory drop and simultaneous median list price jump that occurred in Florida during the last half of 2011 has shifted to California (and Seattle, Phoenix and Atlanta) in the first half of this year where seven of the top 10 metros for year-over-year (June 2011 to June 2012) inventory drop occurred.

Hard-hit Detroit is also slowly climbing the ranks; it now ranks No. 16 for median list price increase on a yearly basis and stands at No. 4 of the top metro median list price growth from May 2012 to June 2012. Still, it’s the only one of the 146 metros tracked by Realtor.com with a sub-$100,000 median list price in June 2012 with $99,000.

Railroad tracks in Detroit image via Shutterstock

In another sign of the California-heavy nature of the current housing recovery, nearly half of the metros in the top 20 for month-over-month (May 2012 to June 2012) median list price increases, by percentage increase, are in California.

Top 10 metros, in order, for May 2012 to June 2012 median list price increases, by percentage of growth:

  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.
  • Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Charleston, W.Va.
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • San Jose, Calif.
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • San Francisco
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wisc.(Minn.)
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.(Tenn.)

Source: Realtor.com

Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif., and the San Francisco Bay Area metros of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose — all in the top 12 now for year-over-year median list price increase (by percentage increase) — were not in the top 20 in January. In fact, no California cities cracked the top 20 for year-over-year median list price increases (by percentage growth) that month.

Santa Barbara now tops all 146 metros Realtor.com tracks for year-over-year percentage median list price increase, followed by Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz., at No. 2, and its NorCal big cousin, San Francisco, at No. 3.

See the rest of the top 10 below.

Location: Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 33.14%
Median List Price $699,000

Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, Calif., via Shutterstock


Location: Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 32.19%
Median List Price $185,000

Phoenix airport and city skyline at sunset via Shutterstock


Location: San Francisco


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 15.44%
Median List Price $725,000

Golden Gate Bridge view from just north of San Francisco via Shutterstock


Location: Boise City, Idaho


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 14.94%
Median List Price $170,000

Boise City, Idaho, snowscape via Shutterstock


Location: Oakland, Calif.


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 14.84%
Median List Price $379,000

Cranes at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., via cdrin/Shutterstock


Location: Miami


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 14.34%
Median List Price $275,000

Miami Beach lifeguard house via Shutterstock


Location: Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla.


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 14.30%
Median List Price $239,925

Fort Myers Beach in Fort Myers, Fla., via Shutterstock


Location: Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(Md.)


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 14.00%
Median List Price $284,990


U.S. Capitol building via Shutterstock


Location: Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.(D.C.)


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 13.63%
Median List Price $425,000

Springtime Jefferson Memorial image via Shutterstock


Location: Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.


Median List Price Increase (June 2011 to June 2012) 12.92%
Median List Price $425,000

Seattle Space Needle image via Shutterstock

Inman News reporter Paul Hagey compiled this report.

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