Home Prices Rose in 92% of U.S. Metro Areas in Third Quarter

(Bloomberg) -- Home prices climbed in 92 percent of U.S. metropolitan areas in the third quarter as buyers competed for tight supplies of listings across the country, the National Association of Realtors said.

The median price of an existing single-family home rose from a year earlier in 162 of the 177 regions measured, the group said in a report Thursday. The national median was was $254,000, which is up 5.3 percent from the third quarter of 2016.

The improving job market, booming stock market and low mortgage rates are boosting demand for real estate, while a lack of inventory gives home shoppers little to choose from. That forced many buyers into bidding wars, the Realtors group said.

“The pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold,” Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist, said in the report. “The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability.”

Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condos, slipped 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in the third quarter, from 5.56 million in the second quarter, the Realtors said.

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