How are home values in your neighborhood?


By Myra Cristobal • Bankrate.com

Single family home prices are still climbing in most large cities across the country, according to the latest quarterly survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Housing prices vary by region, but the median home price across the nation in the first quarter of 2004 was up 6.5 percent to $170,800 from $160,400 in the same quarter in 2003. The median is the typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Regionally, the strongest increase was in the Northeast where the median resale price during the first quarter was $212,000, rising 18.7 percent from a year earlier.

The NAR first quarter survey of existing-home prices shows that 35 of the 126 metropolitan regions surveyed experienced double-digit housing value increases from the first quarter in 2003.

David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said this strong home-price growth pattern is well established. "It's a simple matter of supply and demand," he said. "We continue to have more home buyers than sellers in most of the country, which results in tight housing inventories and higher rates of home price appreciation."

The highest jump in home values occurred in the Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., area where single-family home prices rose to $ 258,900, a 32.9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2003. Next came Las Vegas, at $224,900, which was 31.3 percent above 2003, followed by Anaheim-Santa Ana (Orange Co., Calif.), with a first quarter median price of $572,500, up 28.1 percent in the last year.

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