Markets & Economy

Home price growth cools, but is ‘unsustainable and unhealthy’ in some large markets

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Home prices rose more moderately in the first three months of this year than in the previous quarter, but tight inventory has pushed up prices to an "unsustainable and unhealthy" level in some large markets, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. The median price for an existing single-family home nationally rose 8.6 percent year over year in the first quarter, to $191,600. That's down from a 10.1 percent year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter. The median rose annually in 125 (or 74 percent) of the 170 metros tracked by NAR. Of those metros, 37 (or 22 percent) saw double-digit price jumps. In first-quarter 2013, 89 percent of metros posted year-over-year price gains. "The cooling rate of price growth is needed to preserve favorable housing affordability conditions in the future, but we still need more new-home construction to fully alleviate the inventory shortages in much of the country," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement....