Although NAR’s third quarter report showcases price increases across the board, the rate at which they are climbing has slowed.
Median sales prices rose for existing single-family homes in all but one of 183 measured markets in the third quarter of 2021, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.
The report also found that 78% of the 183 markets experienced double-digit year-over-year price increases, a decrease from 94% in the prior quarter, and three metro areas saw price gains of over 30% from one year ago, also fewer than the number in the previous quarter.
The median sales price of single-family existing homes climbed 16% from one year ago to $363,700, a slower pace in comparison to the preceding quarter at 22.9%. All four major regions had double-digit year-over-year price growth, led by the Northeast at 17.5%, followed by the South at 14.9%, the Midwest at 10.7%, and the West at 10.3%.
“Home prices are continuing to move upward, but the rate at which they ascended slowed in the third quarter,” says 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.”
The markets with the highest year-over-year price gains were: Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida; Boise-Nampa, Idaho; Ocala, Florida; Punta Gorda, Florida; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida; Port St. Lucie, Florida; and New York-Jersey City-White Plains, New Jersey.
The most expensive markets in the third quarter were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; San Francisco; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California; Honolulu; Los Angeles; San Diego; Boulder, Colorado; Seattle; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; and Boston.
“While buyer bidding wars lessened in the third quarter compared to early 2021, consumers still faced stiff competition for homes located in the top 10 markets,” continues Yun. “Most properties were only on the market for a few days before being listed as under contract.”
In the third quarter, the average monthly mortgage payment on an existing single-family home financed with a 30-year fixed-rate loan and 20% down payment rose to $1,214, an increase of $156 from one year ago.
Among all home buyers, the monthly mortgage payment as a share of the median family income increased to 16.6%, up from 14.9% a year ago. For first-time buyers, the typical mortgage payment on a 10% down payment loan increased to 25.2% of the median family income, up from 22.6% a year ago.
A family typically needed an income of more than $100,000 to affordably pay a 10% down payment mortgage in 17 markets, matching the prior quarter. In 83 markets, a family typically needed an income of less than $50,000 to afford a home, down from 85 markets in the prior quarter.
“For the third quarter—and for 2021 as a whole—home affordability declined for many potential buyers,” says 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.”