RE/MAX: Home prices up 12%

by Jason Porterfield

The median price of a home in the U.S. reached its highest point in 13 years last month as inventory continued to fall, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for February.

The national median of $291,000 represented a record high for February. Home prices were up 5.7% year over year.

Nationally, the months supply of inventory was down 11.9% from January and 42% year over year. Month over month inventory has fallen for 20 of the past 21 months, according to the report.

“The shrinking inventory continued to fuel ongoing bidding wars, and our agents report some homes selling for well above listing price,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “It’s a complicated, competitive market, with buyers having to act quickly and aggressively to get the home they want. Conditions seem to be keeping some potential sellers on the sidelines, but that could change if or when they see more move-up options on the market. With seasonality, still-low interest rates and gains in new construction, we hope to see some relief in supply during the coming months.”

Nationally, homes sold an average of 18 days faster than last February.

None of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the report experienced a year-over-year decline in sale price. Year-over-year price gains hit double digits in 45 metro areas, with Boise, Idaho (29.6%, from $320,000 to $415,000), Augusta, Maine (26.5%, from $170,000 to $215,000) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (25.8%, from $159,000 to $200,000) leading the way.

Augusta, Maine experienced the biggest year-over-year increase in the number of sales at 39.7%, followed by New York, NY at 28.6% and Honolulu, HI at 25.1%.

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