The National Association of REALTORS® reported that home price growth continued to be strong for the fourth quarter of 2021 but in fewer metro areas. Prices continued to rise, with 67% of the markets showing double digit home price appreciation. National median prices rose 14.6% year-over-year to $361,700.
Monthly mortgage payments on a single-family home this quarter increased to $1,240 compared to $1,039 from a year ago. Qualifying median family incomes rose to $59,536 compared to third quarter of 2021 which was $58,185 and $49,877 a year ago. The effective 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to 3.13% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to 2.81% one year ago.
Knowing the mortgage rates and the qualifying incomes for down payments will help potential homeowners figure out what metro areas are affordable for them.
Here is a look at the metro areas with the strongest price growth in the fourth quarter 2021, 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 2021.
These are the top five single-family metro areas with the highest home price appreciation:
These are the bottom five single-family metro areas with the slowest home price appreciation:
These are the most expensive metro areas for the fourth quarter 2021:
These are the least expensive metro areas for the fourth quarter 2021:
Qualifying income based on sales price of existing single-family homes for metropolitan areas by region
For the US, at the 5% down-payment threshold, the qualifying income amount for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $70,699. At the 10% down-payment mark, the qualifying income was $66,978; and with a 20% down payment, the income required to qualify for a mortgage was $59,536. 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.