The U.S. median home price in February increased 14 percent from a year ago but was flat from the previous month to $183,000.The median sales price of distressed homes — those in the foreclosure process or bank-owned — increased 13 percent from a year ago to $127,000, 33 percent below the median sales price of non-distressed properties, $190,000 according to a February 2015 Home Price Appreciation Analysis.
“While still significant at 33 percent, the average discount buyers are realizing on distressed homes has been shrinking over the past 18 months after hitting a high of 40 percent in September 2013,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Inventory of distressed properties is drying up in many markets even while demand for those properties — which typically fall into the target market for both investors and first-time homebuyers — is ramping up. That is in turn resulting in nationwide home prices skewing higher as a smaller share of homes sell at the lower end of the market.”
Among the nation’s largest metro areas, those with slowing home price appreciation included New York, New York (annual appreciation of 3 percent compared to 6 percent last year), Los Angeles, California (annual appreciation of 9 percent compared to 20 percent last year), Chicago, Illinois (annual appreciation of 6 percent compared to 16 percent last year), Washington DC (annual appreciation of 6 percent compared to 7 percent last year), and Miami, Florida (annual appreciation of 10 percent compared to 20 percent last year).
Prices: Smaller Share at Lower End
17 metro areas reached new peaks in median home prices in 2014
The recovery has helped 17 metro areas (18 percent of total 92) reach new peaks in median home prices in 2014 including Denver, Colorado ($265,000), San Jose, California ($714,750), Chattanooga, Tennessee ($130,000), Madison, Wisconsin ($215,900) and Nashville, Tennessee ($175,000).
Markets that have made the most gains since hitting their housing bottoms
Home price appreciation in February helped many markets that had hit their housing price bottom increase to new heights including Detroit, Michigan (up 154 percent), Grand Rapids, Michigan (up 118 percent), San Francisco, California (up 115 percent), Cape Coral, Florida (up 102 percent), San Jose, California (up 90 percent), Modesto, California (up 72 percent) and Los Angeles, California (up 70 percent
Markets with accelerating home price appreciation
Home price appreciation accelerated in 32 of the 92 (35 percent) metro areas nationwide with a population of half a million or more and with sufficient home price data.
Markets with the fastest-accelerating appreciation included Houston, Texas (21 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 5 percent annual depreciation last year), Austin, Texas (16 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 9 percent last year), Augusta, Georgia (15 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 6 percent last year) and Greensboro, North Carolina (14 percent annual appreciation compared to no appreciation last year).