The median home price of existing single-family homes rose to $229,000 in the third quarter, up 5.5% from the same quarter a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors' Metropolitan Median Area Prices And Affordability report release Thursday morning.

During the third quarter, home prices rose in 87% of all measured markets (or 154 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas) while 24 metros recorded lower median prices from a year earlier. A total of 21 MSAs (12%) experienced double-digit increases, compared to 16 MSAs in the third quarter of 2014.  

“The demand for buying picked up speed in many metro areas during the summer as more households entered the market, encouraged by favorable mortgage rates and improving local economies,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a statement. “While price growth still teetered near or above unhealthy levels in some markets, the good news is that there was some moderation despite the stronger pace of sales." 

The five most expensive existing home markets in the third quarter were concentrated in the west coast, with four out of five MSAs located in California:

  • San Jose, Calif. $965,000
  • San Francisco, Calif., $809,400
  • Anaheim–Santa Ana, Calif.,  $715,300
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, $714,000
  • San Diego, Calif., $554,400.

The five most affordable existing home markets in the third quarter were:

  • Cumberland, Md., $82,400
  • Youngstown–Warren–Boardman, Ohio, $90,700
  • Decatur, Ill., $101,400
  • Rockford, Ill.,  $102,800 
  • Elmira, N.Y., $108,800. 

Read the full release from NAR >>