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Housing Market Still Rife With ‘Stiff Competition’

No matter how you look at it, now is a great time to be a home seller as the median sale price of an existing single-family home rose again last quarter to another record high. 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they attributed the rise to strong homebuyer demand and low housing supply among the top 182 metropolitan areas nationwide. 

Of the 183 metro areas NAR keeps statistics for, only one area saw a decline in home prices— Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana—which saw median home sale prices decrease by a meager 1.5%. All other areas saw prices increase; most areas (78%) saw double digit price increases. 

“Home prices are continuing to move upward, but the rate at which they ascended slowed in the third quarter,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. “I expect more homes to hit the market as early as next year, and that additional inventory, combined with higher mortgage rates, should markedly reduce the speed of price increases.” 

According to the report, the median sales price of single-family existing homes climbed 16% from one year ago to $363,700, but the rate of growth slowed when compared to the prior quarter. 

The report also found the markets with the highest year-over-year price gains were: Austin-Round Rock, Texas (33.5%); Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. (32.0%); Boise City-Nampa, Idaho (31.5%); Ocala, Fla. (29.7%); Punta Gorda, Fla. (27.5%); Salt Lake City, Utah (26.2%); Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (25.8%); Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla. (25.7%); Port St. Lucie, Fla. (24.9%); and New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (24.5%).  

“While buyer bidding wars lessened in the third quarter compared to early 2021, consumers still faced stiff competition for homes located in the top ten markets,” Yun said. “Most properties were only on the market for a few days before being listed as under contract.” 

The average monthly mortgage payment on an existing single-family home also rose to $1,214, an increase of $156 from the prior year as the average home has appreciated by about $50,300. 

“Among all homebuyers, the monthly mortgage payment as a share of the median family income increased to 16.6% (14.9% one year ago),” the report said. “For first-time buyers, the typical mortgage payment on a 10% down payment loan increased to 25.2% of the median family income (22.6% one year ago). A mortgage is considered affordable if the payment amounts to no more than 25% of the family’s income.” 

 “For the third quarter—and for 2021 as a whole—home affordability declined for many potential buyers,” said Yun. “While the higher prices made it extremely difficult for typical families to afford a home, in some cases the historically-low mortgage rates helped offset the asking price.” 

Click here to view the report in its entirety, which includes breakdowns of the top 183 metro areas tracked by the NAR. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected]

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