RealtyTrac: Home prices in 35% of major metro areas hit all-time high in 2015

2015 tracking towards most homes sold in nine years

For more than a third of the nation’s major metro areas, home prices have reached all-time highs in 2015, a new report from RealtyTrac shows.

According to RealtyTrac’s October 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report, 33 metro areas (or 35% of the 94 areas analyzed for the report) reached all-time highs in home prices during this year.

Metro areas that hit new home price peaks in 2015 include Detroit, which hit a new peak in October with a median sales price of $155,000, RealtyTrac’s report shows.

Other metros that reached a new price peak in 2015 include Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio.

RealtyTrac’s report also shows that there were a total of 2,815,704 single-family homes and condos sold in the first 10 months of 2015, marking a nine-year high for the numbers of homes sold in the first 10 months of the year.

The number of homes sold also posted 6% increase from the same time period in 2014, when there were a total of 2,667,436 single family and condos sold in the first 10 months of the year.

The report also shows that the median sales price of single-family homes and condos in October was $207,500, up 1% from the previous month and up 10% from a year ago, which was the highest year-over-year percentage increase since Feb. 2014.

According to RealtyTrac, the 10% increase in Oct. 2015 came on the heels of 20 consecutive months of single-digit annual increases in median home sales prices and marked the 44th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in median home prices.

Despite nearly four years of increases, the U.S. median sales price in October was still 9% below the previous peak of $228,000 posted in July 2005.

“Home price appreciation did not go into hibernation in October even as the housing market entered the typically slower fall season,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“More than one-third of the nation’s major housing markets have now reached new home price peaks this year, and nearly 90% of markets posted an annual increase in home prices in October,” Blomquist said. “Home sellers are sitting pretty in this market, realizing an average profit-since-purchase of 16% — the highest in any month since December 2007, on the cusp of the Great Recession.”

Additionally, RealtyTrac’s report showed that Oct. 2015 saw the share of cash sales increase on a monthly basis for the third consecutive month, with all-cash sales accounting for 28.9% of all sales during the month — up from 28.4% in the previous month but still down from 30.4% a year ago.

RealtyTrac’s report also showed that in October, 8.1% of all single-family home and condo sales were bank-owned. This was unchanged from the previous month but down from 10.6% of all sales in October 2014.

The October median sales price of a bank-owned home was $121,000, 42% lower than the overall median home sales price during the month.

Metros with the highest share of REO sales in October were East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (31.7%), Bakersfield, California (25.5%), California, Maryland (24.5%), Tallahassee, Florida (20.3%) and Jacksonville, Florida (19%).

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