The prices on single-family existing home sales during the fourth quarter of 2023 were up in 86% of the nation’s metro markets, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which noted that 15% of the 221 tracked metro areas experienced double-digit price gains.

The national median single-family existing home price was up by 3.5% from a year ago to $391,700, while the monthly mortgage payment on a typical, existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $2,163 – up 10% from a year ago. NAR noted that 34 markets recorded double-digit annual price appreciation during the fourth quarter. Less than one-fifth of markets (14%, or 32 of 221) experienced home price declines in the fourth quarter.

“Homeowners have benefited from housing wealth accumulation. However, many homebuyers have been shocked at high housing costs, with a typical monthly mortgage payment rising from $1,000 three years ago to more than $2,000 last year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This doubling in housing costs for recent home buyers is not included in the official consumer price index inflation calculations and contributes to the sense of dissatisfaction about the economy.”

Among the major U.S. regions, the South posted the largest share of single-family existing home sales (45%) in the fourth quarter, with year-over-year price appreciation of 3.2%. Prices also climbed 7.3% in the Northeast, 4.7% in the Midwest and 4.2% in the West.

“Sales were restrained due to limited inventory,” Yun added. “But increased homebuilding, along with lower mortgage rates, will not only improve housing affordability but also help bring more homes onto the market in 2024.”

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