October 24, 2019


Lower mortgage rates may be getting offset by higher home prices. Single-family homes and condos sold for a median price of $270,000 in the third quarter—up 8.3% from a year ago and a new high, a newly released report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows.

Homeowners who sold in the third quarter earned a median profit of 34.5%—a postrecession high. They saw an average home price gain since purchase of $68,686, according to the report.

The National Association of REALTORS® also reported earlier this week that median existing-home prices are rising. In September, they reached a median of $272,100, up 5.9% from a year ago. All four major regions of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month, NAR reports.

“The seven-year U.S. housing boom is back in high gear,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “After a series of relatively small price increase quarters, home prices saw quite the uptick, seller profits rose and the problem of distressed sales continued to fade, helping to make the third quarter the strongest in four years. That’s all happened as mortgage rates sank back to near-historic lows, which clearly powered the market upward along with stock market surges and a continued strong economy. There had been signs before the latest surge of a cooling market, but they seem to have diminished, at least for now.”

Median home prices rose year over year in 148 of the 155 metro areas ATTOM researchers analyzed in the third quarter. The largest spikes were in Lansing, Mich. (up 25.1%); Green Bay, Wis. (up 18.1%); Johnson City, Tenn. (up 16.7%); Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C. (up 13.7%); and Spokane, Wash. (up 13.5%).

Median home prices in 79% of the 155 metros tracked also reached prerecession peaks last quarter. They were led by Kennewick, Wash. (99% above); Greeley, Colo. (89% above); Shreveport, La. (84% above); Denver (79% above); and Nashville, Tenn. (75% above).

Only three major metros saw an annual price drop in the third quarter: Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (down 9.4%); San Jose, Calif. (down 3.3%), and Hartford, Conn. (down 0.3%).