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Home prices soar in 2Q
National average up 9.1%, led by 52% advance in Las Vegas; List: See top 10 markets.
August 12, 2004: 1:56 PM EDT
By Sarah Max, CNN/Money senior writer

BEND, Ore. (CNN/Money) Ė If you thought the housing boom had to slow down, think again.

Nationally, median home prices gained 9.1 percent in the second quarter versus the same period in 2003, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report released Thursday.

The median home price was $183,800 in the second quarter, the NAR said. That means half the homes tracked cost more than that, and half cost less. Of the more than 125 markets tracked, a record 49 metro areas had double-digit annual price gains.

Las Vegas home values showed the biggest gains. The median price of an existing single-family home in and around Sin City shot up 52.4 percent.

"This is the biggest annual home-price increase in any metro area on record," said NAR chief economist David Lereah, explaining that the supply of houses on the market has been extremely tight.

Nationally, there was a four-month supply of housing during the second quarter, meaning that it would take four months to sell all of the houses on the market given the number of buyers and houses.

In booming Las Vegas, where the median price was recently $269,000, there was only a 1.7-month supply of houses on the market during the second quarter. (See "Why some markets hot, others not.")

Prices in Orange County, Calif., increased 38.5 percent during the one-year period, bringing the median price there to $655,300. In nearby Riverside and San Bernardino counties, median prices increased 38.5 percent to $294,500.

Top 10 housing markets
Market†Price increase*†Median price†
Las Vegas, NV†52.4%†$269,900†
Orange County, CA†38.7%†$655,300†
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA†38.5%†$294,500†
San Diego, CA †37.5%†$559,700†
Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA†30.4%†$438,400†
Sarasota, FL†29.9%†$264,800†
Ocala, FL†27.0%†$112,300†
Sacramento, CA†27.0%†$308,600†
Miami-Hialeah, FL†25.9%†$271,900†
West Palm Beach, FL†25.9%†$294,00†
National Median9.1%$183,800
†*Change between 2Q 2003 and 2Q 2004
†Source:††National Association of Realtors

The gains came despite rising mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.13 percent during the second quarter, up from 5.6 percent in the first quarter.

Rising mortgage rates increase the cost of financing a home, and many economists have been expecting that to -- at a minimum -- slow the rate of increase in home prices.

Not every market is booming.

In 22 metros, including Dallas and Denver, prices inched up less than 3 percent. In 11 metros prices declined. The median home price in Knoxville, Tenn., fell 7 percent to $131,400. No state recorded a decline.  Top of page




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