Markets with double-digit price increases soared in Q1 2015
The number of metro areas where home prices increased by double-digits soared in the first three months of this year. The latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors shows that stronger demand and lagging inventory helped push prices higher in many areas with 51 metros showing double-digit rises. Year-over-year the median price of a single-family home increased in 85 per cent of the markets measured by NAR although 25 areas recorded lower prices.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yar noted: "Sales activity to start the year was notably higher than a year ago, as steady hiring and low interest rates encouraged more buyers to enter the market. However, stronger demand without increasing supply led to faster price growth in many markets." The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $205,200, up 7.4 percent from the first quarter of 2014 ($191,100). Total existing home sales were down 1.8 per cent from the last quarter of 2014 but were 6.8 per cent higher than a year earlier.
The five most expensive housing markets in the first quarter were the San Jose, Calif., metro area, where the median existing single-family price was $900,000; San Francisco, $748,300; Honolulu, $699,300; Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif., $685,700; and San Diego, $510,300. The five lowest-cost metro areas in the first quarter were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, where the median single-family home price was $64,300; Cumberland, Md., $71,600; Rockford, Ill., $78,600; Decatur, Ill., $82,200; and Toledo, Ohio, $83,800.
Wealthy New Yorkers head back to the city
High value homes in Manhattan are in demand as wealthy property buyers opt for the city rather than the suburbs. New figures show that in the past seven years there have only been 11 estates sold for above $10 million in the high-end suburb of Westchester compared to 1,355. Even in the first three months of this year there were 36 sales of $10m+ homes in New York City and none in Westchester. Real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller compiled the stats for the New York Post. The city’s luxury condos and high-end towers are booming compared to suburban options partly due to the amenities being offered. The most expensive NYC home sold in the first quarter of this year was a duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue with a price tag of $77.5 million.
Geraldo swap New Jersey for Central Park
Geraldo Rivera has bought a penthouse overlooking New York’s Central Park after years of living in New Jersey. Zillow says that the TV personality and his wife Erica have bought the $6.295 million home which has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.