The National Association of REALTORS® reported that quarterly home prices increased again this past quarter. Prices continued to rise, with 94% of the markets showing home price appreciation. National median prices rose 6.6% year over year to $274,900. Eighteen metro areas experienced double-digit growth in the fourth quarter.
Here is a look at the metro areas with the strongest price growth in the fourth quarter 2019, as well as a look at the yearly change in median existing single-family home prices among the top five highest and lowest growth metro areas of the fourth quarter 2019. Price changes reflect in part changes in the type of home that were sold during the quarter, with smaller markets tending to show wider price variability over time than larger markets.
These are the top five single-family metro areas with the highest home price appreciation:
These are the bottom five single-family metro areas that had a decline in home price appreciation:
These are the most expensive metro areas for the fourth quarter of 2019:
These are the least expensive metro areas for the fourth quarter of 2019:
Knowing the mortgage rates and the qualifying incomes for down payments will help potential homeowners figure out what metro areas are affordable for them. For the US, at the 5% down-payment threshold, the qualifying income amount for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $58,663. At the 10% down-payment mark, the qualifying income was $55,575 and with a 20% down-payment, the income required to qualify for a mortgage was $49,400. The West led all regions with the highest qualifying income while the Midwest had the lowest income for 5%, 10% and 20% down payments on a single-family home.
Qualifying Income Based on Sales Price of Existing Single-family Homes for Metropolitan Areas by Region: