The combination of low inventory and strong demand continues to put upward pressure on home prices in the largest US metros.

The National Association of Realtors says that the national median existing single-family home price in the third quarter was $266,900, up 4.8% year-over-year. This was a slightly lower pace that the 4.9% annual rise seen in Q2 2018.

Of 178 statistics metros, 166 or 93%, saw year-over-year price gains in the third quarter.

“Though inventory is more than adequate on the upper-end market, the insufficient supply of low to mid-priced homes in metro markets with strong job growth continues to drive up prices and push prospective buyers out of the market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Sales down
There was a 2.6% decrease in total existing-home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.273 million in the third quarter, down from 5.413 million in the second quarter. That’s 2.4% lower than the 5.403 million pace during the third quarter of 2017.

“A strong economy and consistent job growth should be driving up home sales; however, would-be homebuyers are struggling to find a home they can afford,” said Yun. “As mortgage rates continue to rise, reaching the decade’s highest rates this quarter, an increase in the supply of affordable homes has become even more important to help temper price growth across the country.”

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