US home prices rise 5.3% amid tight supply

By Steve Randall

Inventory shortages continue to push home prices in the US higher with 92% of markets recording an increase at the end of 2017.

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows that record-low inventory led to a 5.3% rise in home prices nationwide year-over-year. The median existing home cost U$247,800 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

"A majority of the country saw an upswing in buyer interest at the end of last year, which ultimately ended up putting even more strain on inventory levels and prices," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Remarkably, home prices have risen a cumulative 48 percent since 2011, yet during this same timeframe, incomes are up only 15 percent. In the West region, where very healthy labor markets are driving demand, the gap is even wider."

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