Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Home Prices Appreciating Strongly in Less Expensive Midwest and South Metros

Amid tight supply, home prices are still appreciating in many areas, with home prices rising at a faster pace in less expensive metro areas and rising at a slower pace or even falling in more expensive metro areas. Based on the National Association of REALTORS®' metro-level median existing-home sales price in the second quarter of 2019, prices rose in 91% (162) of 178 metros reported by NAR.

Most Expensive Metros with Price Decline

The most expensive metros in California, Hawaii, and Colorado continued to post year-over-year price declines: San-Jose-Sta. Clara- Sunnyvale, CA ($1.33M; -5.3%); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($1.05M; -1.5%); Urban Honolulu, HI ($785,500; 1.2%); Boulder, CO (625,300; -0.9%) l and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL ($454,000; -2.4%).

Sales prices have also fallen compared to one year ago in areas with slower economic activity, low employment growth, and outmigration to other metro areas. These areas include Bismarck, ND (-5.5%) and Fargo, ND-MN (-0.4%) which are being impacted by the decline in oil prices and oil fracking and the metro areas of Champaign-Urbana, IL (-1%) and Rockford, IL (-0.7%) which have seen net migration outflows to Chicago and to other states like Florida and New York.

Cheapest Metros Areas with Job Growth and Price Increase

On the other hand, prices are appreciating at a pace above 5% in relatively inexpensive metro areas. Among metros that generated at least 1,000 jobs in over the year that ended 2019 Q2, Boise, ID had had the strongest price growth ($295,600;12.5%). Boise is experiencing strong price growth, with annual employment gains of about 12,000 in the past four quarters from 2018 Q3 to 2019 Q2. Other areas in the Midwest have experienced strong employment growth which has bolstered demand for homes and prices include, such as Columbus OH ($228,300; +9.4%); Birmingham-Hoover-Alabama ($233,300; +8.6%), and Knoxville, TN ($206,700; 8.7%).

Prices in metro areas such as Kennewick-Richland ($303,300; 9.8%) and Spokane-Spokane Valley ($265,600; 9/3% are also appreciating due to their proximity to California. Prices in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX, are recovering two years after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas ($171,100; 11.4%).

Meanwhile, in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria- DC metro area, median home prices are not yet seeing a significant appreciation metro-wide from the building of the Amazon HQ2 in Crystal City, Alexandria.  The median existing-home sales price in this metro area was only up 3% from one year ago, at $456,500 in 2019 Q2 ($443,100 one year ago).

Use this data visualization to explore home price trends across metro areas.

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