Home prices spike upward in last 12 months

Home prices are showing the fastest growth in nearly eight years, with one-third of the housing markets nationwide showing double-digit increases.

Nine out of 10 of the nation’s major metropolitan markets experienced price gains during the past 12 months, as the median price nationwide of a single-family home rose to $207,300 in the third quarter of 2013, up 12.5 percent from $184,300 a year ago, according to National Association of Realtor statistics. Those median prices mean that half the houses in the country sold for more than $207,300, and half for less.

Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 14 percent of all sales compared to 24 percent a year ago.

Home prices have risen to the approximate level they were in 2004, the statistics show. The median home price nationwide rose to a high of more than $220,000 in 2006 before falling off to a low of about $165,000 in 2011.

The West has the highest home prices in the country and has also seen the biggest price increase during the past 12 months:

  Median Price % Increase
West $289,100 17%
Northeast $256,800 4.5%
South $181,300 12.2%
Midwest 164,700 8.9%

Four of the five highest-priced housing markets in the country are in California: San Jose ($805,000), San Francisco ($705,000), Anaheim-Santa Ana ($670,700) and San Diego, ($485,000). Honolulu rounds out the top five with a median home price of $679,800.

Currently, there are approximately 2.2 million single-family homes on the market, slightly higher than a year ago when 2.17 million homes were for sale. The number of sales the past year was the highest since 2007.

In the condo market, prices rose even faster at a rate of 15.1 percent, with the median price of $205,400 for a condo in the 54 metropolitan markets studied in the report.

The Midwest and the Northeast saw bigger increases than the South or West in the condo market.

Not surprisingly, some of the areas that had the biggest declines during the recession showed the biggest increases in single-family home prices during the past 12 months. Most were in Florida and California.

City % Increase in Price
1. Sacramento, Calif. 41.8%
2. Las Vegas, Nev. 31.9%
3. Punta Gorda, Fla. 31.9%
4. Jacksonville, Fla. 29.3%
5. Riverside/San Bernadino, Calif. 28.4%
6. Reno, Nev. 26.8%
7. Los Angeles/Santa Ana, Calif. 26.2%
8. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz. 25.0%
9. Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. 24.3%
10. San Francisco, Calif. 24.1%
11. Lakeland, Fla. 24.0%
12. Orlando, Fla. 23.9%
13. San Diego, Calif. 23.0%
14. Tallahassee, Fla. 22.2%
15. Naples, Fla. 21.6%