BEND, Ore. (CNN/Money) Ė Put this one in the record books.
For the first time since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began tracking metropolitan home prices, values in every single metro area increased during the second quarter of 2003 compared with the same period last year.
In fact, the report, released in mid-August, is what NAR chief economist David Lereah calls the "most exceptional" price survey the association has ever reported.
Prices in 40 of the 126 markets covered by the NAR saw double-digit gains in that 12-month period, another record. Nationally, median existing-home prices increased 7.4 percent to 168,900.
|Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.†||23.5%†||$212,600†|
|Los Angeles, Calif.†||20.6%†||$337,200†|
|Atlantic City, NJ†||18.3%†||$164,600†|
|Melbourne/Titusville/Palm Bay, Fla.†||16.5%†||$130,100†|
|Daytona Beach, Fla.†||16.4%†||$122,800†|
|Source: National Association of Realtors|
Leading the way was Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., where median home prices rose 23.5 percent to $212,600. "Houses are selling in a matter of hours," said Gail Van Velzer, a realtor in San Bernardino county.
In Providence, R.I., prices increased 23.2 percent to $228,900, and in Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif., they increased 23.2 percent to $337,200.
Topeka, Kan., and Knoxville, Tenn., were two unexpectedly hot markets. Median home prices jumped 20.2 percent in Topeka to a still-modest $100,700. In Knoxville, they jumped 18.7 percent to $141,000.
Our gallery of homes shows houses in these markets that are selling -- or have sold -- for about the median price in each area as well as homes for about $500,000 in each area.
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Low interest rates, no doubt, helped drive up prices. During the second quarter, the average effective interest rate for existing homes reached a record low 5.58 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board.
Now that rates have been rising for five straight weeks, home prices are expected to soften, said Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist. "Rising interest rates should moderate home price growth," he said.
In the week ending August 8, rates for the 30-year fixed loan were 6.34 percent, according to Freddie Mac.