The national median price of an existing single-family home in 2016's second quarter rose 4.9% from a year earlier to $240,700, according to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability report released Wednesday morning. Compared to first quarter of this year, this quarter's price is a 10.8% gain, reflecting a noticeable price rise from the beginning of this year.

During this quarter, median existing single-family home prices rose in 83% of all measured markets (or 148 of 178 metropolitan statistical areas), while 29 metros, or 16%, saw prices drop from a year earlier. A total of 25 MSAs (14%) experienced double-digit increases, significantly lower than the 34 MSAs (19%) seen in the second quarter of 2015.

"Steadily improving local job markets and mortgage rates teetering close to all-time lows brought buyers out in force in many large and middle-tier cities," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. "However, with home building activity still failing to keep up with demand and not enough current homeowners putting their home up for sale, prices continued their strong ascent – and in many markets at a rate well above income growth."

Regionally, the West reported the largest increase in existing home prices (6.5% year-over-year) to a median price of $346,500 in this quarter. Close behind are the South and Midwest, with a 5.9% increase to $214,900, and a 5.1% gain to $191,300, respectively. Existing single-family homes in the Northeast rose 1.6% to $273,600 in this quarter.

The five most expensive existing home markets, mostly concentrated in the state of California, were:

  • San Jose, Calif., $1,085,000,
  • San Francisco, Calif., $885,600,
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif., $742,200,
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, $725,200,
  • San Diego, Calif., $589,900.

The five most affordable existing home markets in this quarter were:

  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, $85,400,
  • Cumberland, Md., 94,900,
  • Decatur, Ill., $95,600,
  • Binghamton, N.Y., $105,500,
  • Rockford, Ill., $109,000.

Metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 59 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was $227,200 in this quarter, up 4.8% year-over-year. A total of 44 metro areas (75%) saw condo price hikes in from a year ago, while 14 areas had declines.

NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, says market conditions have remained competitive well into the summer.

“The further decline in mortgage rates in recent months is bringing new buyers into the mix on top of the pool of those who have yet to close on a home because of insufficient supply,” Salomone said.

Read the full release from NAR >>

More coverage of existing home markets from BUILDER >>