Most US cities saw home price gains in the second quarter, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.
From April to June, 100 out of the 155 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States had higher median single-family home prices as compared to the second quarter of 2009.
And 14 saw double-digit increases. Hooray.
But wait, it’s not necessarily a sign that we’ve hit bottom, just more a reflection of the kind of stuff that’s actually selling these days.
“The median price is influenced by the mix of homes that were sold and do not reflect pure appreciation or depreciation,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, in a press release.
“The recorded home prices in many markets were significantly depressed last year because of a large percentage of distressed homes sold at discount. Now as more normal, non-distressed home sales are occurring, the median price in many areas is showing higher values.”
In other words, home prices haven’t really fallen as much as the media says they have, and haven’t really rebounded as much as they’ll eventually say they will.
The national median existing single-family price was $176,900 in the second quarter, a 1.5 percent from the $174,200 median seen a year earlier.
Distressed homes (foreclosures, short sales), which certainly weigh down the median, accounted for 32 percent of second quarter sales, down from 36 percent a year ago.
Existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, increased 9.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million units in the second quarter, up from 5.14 million in the first quarter and 4.78 million a year ago.
Unfortunately that gain was probably mostly due to the homebuyer tax credit, which has since expired.
Read more: Is now a good time to buy a house?