Median price above pre-recession peaks in 54% of metros

by Steve Randall20 Apr 2018

Home prices have not just recovered from the housing crisis slump, they’ve exceeded their pre-recession peak in 54% of US metros.

An analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions has found that nationwide the median price of $240,000 in the first quarter of 2018 was less than 1% below the pre-recession peak ($241,500 in Q3 2005) but up 9.1% from the first quarter of 2017.

“Rising interest rates and recently enacted tax reform that removed some tax incentives for homeownership were not enough to cool off red-hot home price appreciation in many parts of the country, with 30 of the 105 local markets analyzed posting double-digit gains in median home prices in the first quarter," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

US homeowners who sold in Q1 2018 realized an average home price gain since purchase of $53,369, down from an average gain of $54,000 in Q4 2017 but still up from an average gain of $45,000 in Q1 2017. The Q1 2018 figure represented an average 29.5% return as a percentage of original purchase price.

The leaders and losers
Houston leads the metros with the highest rise above their pre-recession peaks, at 69%, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth (67%); Denver (62%); San Jose (60%); and San Antonio (57%).

And even where the pre-recession peaks have yet to be reached, prices are seeing strong gains in many areas.

"Home prices are still below pre-recession peaks in 46% of local markets, but nearly one-third of even those markets posted double-digit home price appreciation in the first quarter."

However, median home prices for Q1, 2018 in 48 of the 105 metro areas analyzed remained below pre-recession peaks, led by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut (25% below); New Haven, Connecticut (22%); Allentown, Pennsylvania (21%); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (20%); and Hartford, Connecticut (19%).

No bust imminent but things can change
Ingo Winzer, founder and president at Local Market Monitor, commented on the research and says there is expectation that more markets will enter boom territory in the next two years, and warned that buyers should be aware of those markets where prices are already higher than they should be.

 "We don't think a bust is imminent — in fact we think prices in these markets will keep going up for several years — but dynamics like this have always ended badly in the past. If you're thinking of selling, this year or next would be a good time. If you're thinking of buying, either have a very short-term outlook or a very long one."


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