Buyers might want to sit down for this: Homes flew off the market like the hottest of hotcakes in the first quarter of the year—causing prices to rise even higher than predicted in many parts of the nation. The median price of existing single-family homes hit $232,100 in the first quarter of the year, according to a recent quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors®. That's up 6.9% from a year ago—and is nearly double the 3.9% price growth realtor.com® had forecast for 2017. "Prices are increasing faster than we expected them to because of the continual shortage of new homes coming onto the market," says Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner of realtor.com. "People that had been holding back on buying a home ... now have good, steady jobs and are less worried about losing their jobs and hence are going into the housing market." If the shortage of homes continues, prices could rise 7% to 8% year over year in 2017, he says. Ouch. The first quarter of the year marked the strongest quarterly sales pace in a decade, according to the report.
- Realtor.com, May 15, 2017