While home prices continue to moderate in many metropolitan areas in the second quarter, there is still a divide regionally, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Overall, fewer markers witnessed price increases in the second quarter compared to the first when price increases were recorded in 74% of metro areas. And, it's in the Midwest region of the United States where home sales are really beginning to pick up again.
Nationally, only 19 metropolitan statistical areas in the second quarter (11%) had double-digit increases, drastically falling from the 37 areas last quarter and the overall average of 43 areas since the second quarter of 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, explained that price increases are balancing out to the benefit for both buyers and sellers.
“National median home prices began their most recent rise during the first quarter of 2012 but had climbed to unsustainable levels given the current pace of inflation and wage growth,” he said. “At this slower but healthier rate, homeowners can continue steadily building equity. Meanwhile, for buyers, increased supply with moderate price gains is giving them better opportunities to choose.”
Here are how the four regions are squaring up in the second quarter:
Total existing-home sales in the Northeast grew 5.1% in the second quarter but are 4.1% below the second quarter of 2013.
The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast came in at $255,500 in the second quarter, marginally falling (0.9%) from a year ago.
Meanwhile, heading to the South, existing-home sales climbed 3.4% in the second quarter but are 1% below the second quarter of 2013.
The median existing single-family home price in the South was $187,300 in the second quarter, 3.7% above a year earlier.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 9.4% in the second quarter. However, this is down 6.1% from a year ago.
The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 4.4% to $167,600 in the second quarter from the same quarter a year ago.
Existing-home sales jumped 7.1% in the second quarter but are still 9% below a year ago.
On the other side, the median existing single-family home price in the West escalated 7.3% to $297,400 in the second quarter from 2013.