Tight supplies of affordable homes helped propel the median home price in the Western U.S. to $339,900 in February, up 9.6 percent from February 2016, according to an analysis released today by the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales in the Western region, which includes Arizona, actually decreased 3.1 percent in February compared to January, to an annual rate of 1.25 million. But the pace exceeded last February by 9.6 percent.
A similar picture emerged nationally.
“Realtors are reporting stronger foot traffic from a year ago, but low supply in the affordable price range continues to be the pest that’s pushing up price growth and pressuring the budgets of prospective buyers,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement. “Newly listed properties are being snatched up quickly so far this year and leaving behind minimal choices for buyers trying to reach the market.”
Nationally, sales of existing homes dropped 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in February, compared to 5.69 million in January, which was the fasted pace in nearly a decade. February’s sales pace was 5.4 percent above a year ago.
The median price nationally was $228,400, up 7.7 percent from February 2016. It’s the 60th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Across the country, there is a 3.8-month supply of homes for sale given the current sales pace, according to the statement. Total housing inventory actually increased 4.2 percent to 1.75 million in February, but that remains 6.4 percent below February 2016, and this figure has fallen year-over-year for 21 straight months.
The sales figures are for completed deals on single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.