While the U.S. has seen all-time record-high employment, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, and rising wages, home sales stuttered in 2018 and the first half of 2019 due to affordability. Home price increases in the past decade have out-sprinted income gains, negatively impacting affordability.
Prices changes are not uniform nor consistent across the country. Home prices are a result of the intermix of supply and demand, and substitutes (rentals). As usual, I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market. Nor is there such a thing as consistent and uniform changes in home prices across the country.
Each quarter the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports single family median home prices for almost one-half of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) across the country (178 out of the 384). The following table lists the top 10 MSAs ranked by year-over-year increase in median price for Q3 (Q3 2019 compared to Q3 2018). One quarter of change does not equate to an ongoing trend, however. Kingston, New York, with a 15.2 percent increase in median home price from $223,100 in Q3 2018 to $256,900 in Q3 2019 only notched a 7.0 percent increase for the trailing 12-months median price (October 2018 through September 2019) compared to the prior 12 months.
The next table shows the MSAs with the greatest decline in single family median price from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019.
The average median price for the past four quarters (trailing 12-months) gives a longer-term price trend and is reported for the 10 MSAs with the greatest increase followed by the 10 MSAs with the smallest gain and those in decline.
The last table is sorted from the lowest median home price for Q3 2019 and shows the 10 smallest and highest-priced markets. This helps answer the question whether price level is impacting property value change. Both the 10 most- and least expensive- markets have properties showing gains and losses in values. These 20, however, which represent 11.2 percent of all MSAs in the report, accounted for two-thirds (8 out of 12) of all markets posting a year-over-year decline in Q3 2019 median home prices.
Click here for a PDF of all 178 covered MSAs , sorted alphabetically.
To view the housing data series from NAR click https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/housing-statistics
There are two certainties about housing prices. First is they will change. Second, housing prices are not like a tide where all boats rise and fall together. Home values and respective changes are a function of local supply and demand factors