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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released its latest quarterly report, which found that 88% of the metros followed (161 areas) saw double-digit increases year-over-year. This is down from the third quarter, when only 115 metros saw this type of growth.

The national median existing single-family home price increased 14.9% year-over-year to $315,900. All regions experienced double-digit year-over-year price growth. The Northeast took the lead at 20.7%, followed by the West at 15.5%, the Midwest at 15.1% and the South at 14.0%.

“The fourth quarter of 2020 presented circumstances ripe for home-price increases,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Mortgage rates reached record lows, thereby driving up the demand. At the same time, inventory levels also reached record lows, leading to grim inventory conditions of insufficient supply in the fourth quarter.”

The following areas saw the highest increases: Bridgeport, Connecticut (39.2%); Pittsfield, Massachusetts (32.2%); Atlantic City, New Jersey (30.0%); Naples, Florida. (29.9%); Barnstable, Massachusetts (28.9%); Crestview, Florida (28.6%); Boise City, Idaho (27.1%); Binghamton, New York (24.4%); Kingston, New York (24.2%); and Spokane, Washington (23.6%).

“Although tourism took a major hit overall throughout 2020, our data shows that vacation housing still did well in terms of sales,” Yun said. “Many people purchased in these areas because they found themselves with new work-from-home freedoms.”

The 10 most expensive metros in the fourth quarter were located in the West and East regions: San Jose, California ($1.40 million); San Francisco, California ($1.14 million); Anaheim, California ($935,000); Urban Honolulu, Hawaii ($902,500); San Diego, California ($740,000); Los Angeles, California ($688,700); Boulder, Colorado ($661,300); Seattle, Washing ($614,700); Nassau, New York ($591,600); and Boston, Massachusetts ($579,100).

“The average, working family is struggling to contend with home prices that are rising much faster than income,” Yun said. “This sidelines a consumer from becoming an actual buyer, causing them to miss out on accumulating wealth from homeownership.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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