65% of Markets See Moderate Home Prices

August 28, 2014

The median price of residential properties – including both distressed and non-distressed sales – was $191,000, up 3 percent in July from the previous month and up 12 percent from the year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report for July 2014, released Thursday. It marks the highest level for home prices since September 2008. But RealtyTrac researchers note its latest data showing further home price appreciation is masking what’s really going on in the market.

“As distressed sales continue to decline, the share of sales is tilting toward more expensive homes, boosting the nationwide median sales price,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “The nationwide home price increase, however, masks slowing home price appreciation in the majority of housing markets across the country. This slowing appreciation was expected and provides another sign that the real estate recovery thus far is behaving rationally. The housing market is entering a dicey transition phase where it is becoming much more reliant on first-time home buyers and move-up buyers to sustain the recovery as investor involvement wanes.”

Homes sold for $200,000 or below accounted for 49 percent of all sales in July, down from 52 percent a year ago. On the other hand, homes selling for above $200,000 accounted for 51 percent of all sales, up from 48 percent a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

The states with the largest annual increases in median sales prices were:

  • Michigan: +24%
  • Ohio: +20%
  • Virginia: +20%
  • Minnesota: +14%
  • New York: +13%

Out of 183 metro areas tracked with populations of 200,000 or more, 119 metros – or 65 percent – saw a lower annual home price appreciation in July compared to a year earlier.

For example, annual home price appreciation dropped to single digits from double-digit percentages a year ago in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Denver, and Phoenix, RealtyTrac reports.

Meanwhile, at the metro-level, the largest annual gains in median sales prices were:

  • Detroit: up 33%
  • Dayton, Ohio: +31%
  • Stockton, Calif.: +24%
  • Modesto, Calif.: +22%
  • Cleveland: +20%
  • Miami: +19%

Source: RealtyTrac