More Than 90% of Markets Post Increases Q1 - Real Estate, Updates, News & Tips

More Than 90% of Markets Post Increases Q1

Demand continued to outpace supply in the first quarter, with big gains in some midwestern cities and expensive west coast cities 'roaring back.'

More than 9 in 10 metro markets posted home price gains in the first quarter of 2024, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest quarterly report. Of the 221 metro areas tracked, 30% experienced double-digit price gains; that’s up from 15% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

During the same period, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate ranged from 6.60% to 6.94%.

“Astonishingly, greater than 90% of the country’s metro areas experienced home price growth despite facing the highest mortgage rates in two decades,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “In the current market, rising prices are the direct result of insufficient housing supply not meeting the full demand.”

Compared to one year ago, the national median single-family existing-home price climbed 5% to $389,400. In the prior quarter, the year-over-year national median price increased 3.4%. Among the major U.S. regions, the South registered the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (46%) in the first quarter, with year-over-year price appreciation of 3.3%. Prices swelled 11% in the Northeast, 7.4% in the Midwest and 7.3% in the West.

Six of the 10 metro areas with the largest year-over-year median price increases were in Illinois and Wisconsin. The top 10 were:

  1. Fond du Lac, Wis. (23.7%)
  2. Kankakee, Ill. (22.0%)
  3. Rockford, Ill. (20.1%)
  4. Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (20.0%)
  5. Johnson City, Tenn. (19.3%)
  6. Racine, Wis. (19.0%)
  7. Newark, N.J.-Pa. (18.8%)
  8. Bloomington, Ill. (18.5%)
  9. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (18.4%)
  10. Cumberland, Md.-W.Va. (18.2%)

Meanwhile, eight of the top 10 most expensive markets in the U.S. were in California. Those markets, and their year-over-year gains, were:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,840,000; 13.7%)
  2. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. ($1,365,000; 14.2%)
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. ($1,300,000; 14%)
  4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii ($1,085,800; 5.5%)
  5. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. ($981,000; 11.5%)
  6. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. ($909,300; 7%)
  7. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. ($908,700; 7.6%)
  8. Salinas, Calif. ($899,200; 4.1%)
  9. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. ($850,000; 9.4%)
  10. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. ($823,000; 10.2%)

“The expensive markets in the West, where home prices declined last year, are roaring back,” Yun says. “Price dips in that region were viewed as second-chance opportunities by many buyers.”

Fifteen of the 221 metro areas tracked in the report experienced year-over-year home price declines in the first quarter.

Despite rising prices, housing affordability improved in the first quarter as mortgage rates declined. The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $2,037, down 5.7% from the fourth quarter of 2023 ($2,161) but up 9.3% – or $173 – from one year ago. Families typically spent 24.2% of their income on mortgage payments, down from 26.1% in the prior quarter but up from 23.3% one year ago.

First-time buyers faced limited inventory and elevated home prices in the first quarter, though affordability conditions bettered from the previous quarter. For a typical starter home valued at $331,000 with a 10% down payment loan, the monthly mortgage payment fell slightly to $1,998, down 5.7% from the previous quarter ($2,118). However, that was an increase of $168, or 9.2%, from one year ago ($1,830). First-time buyers typically spent 36.5% of their family income on mortgage payments, down from 39.3% in the prior quarter.

A family needed a qualifying income of at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 40.7% of markets, down from 47.1% in the previous quarter. Yet, a family needed a qualifying income of less than $50,000 to afford a home in 4.5% of markets, up from 2.3% in the prior quarter.


This website includes images sourced from third party websites including Adobe, Getty Images, and as otherwise noted.