Nearly every single metro area in the United States saw home prices once again rise annually in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the latest statistical release by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Overall, the median existing single-family home in the nation’s metro areas was $274,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 6.6 percent year-over-year increase.

“It is challenging— especially for those potential buyers — where we have a good economy, low-interest rates and a soaring stock market, yet are finding very few homes available for sale,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “We saw prices increase during every quarter of 2019 above wage growth.”

Home prices increased annually in 170 of 180 metro areas, or 94 percent. In Trenton, New Jersey; Boise City-Nampa, Idaho; Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi; Kingston, New York and Albuquerque, New Mexico, prices rose double digits.

“Rising home values typically create wealth gains for existing homeowners as shown in NAR’s latest study, however, areas that are deemed ‘too expensive’ will obviously have trouble attracting residents and companies looking to do business there,” Yun said. “We need a good balance that benefits both current and future homeowners, but right now, the balance is still in favor of home sellers.”

At the end of the fourth quarter, average inventory supply in the nation’s metros was 3.5 months supply, down from 4 months supply at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Email Patrick Kearns

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