Median home values leaped by 8.8 percent in February to $285,700, the largest price appreciation in four years, according to a Redfin analysis released Thursday.

The upward pull in median home values marks the 72nd consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and comes as the housing market faces its 29th month of declining inventory. Struggling from a lack of supply, home sales in February remained flat at .4 percent as the overall number of homes on the market plunged 11.4 percent, according to the new analysis.

“A growing economy, healthy buyer demand and low inventory drove the ramp up in prices last month,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Combining even slightly higher rates with price growth this strong will make it even more challenging for first-time buyers to find affordable homes to buy this year.

“The good news for sellers is modest rate increases are unlikely to curtail buyer demand. Just 6 percent of respondents to a survey commissioned by Redfin said they would cancel their home buying plans if rates rose above 5 percent.”

Among the 73 metropolitan markets Redfin analyzes, San Jose, California boasted the nation’s strongest price growth, rising 34.1 percent year-over-year to $1.18 million. Detroit followed with a 19.8-percent year-over-year spike, according to the analysis.

Meanwhile, sales in six of those 73 markets surged in February. Louisville, Kentucky was among the six and led the nation in year-over-year sales growth with a 24.7-percent uptick. Sales in Greenville, South Carolina shot up by 18.4 percent, and sales in Oklahoma City increased by 15.8 percent, according to the analysis.

Email Jotham Sederstrom

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