Home prices rose during the second quarter, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), with the median existing single-family home price rising in 110 out of 147 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Distressed homes accounted for 26% of second-quarter sales, down from 33% a year ago.
The national median existing single-family home price was $181,500 in the second quarter, up 7.3% from $169,100 in the second quarter of 2011. NAR says this is the strongest year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2006, when the median price rose 9.4%, but even with the gain, the current price is 20.1% below the record set in 2006.
Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, slipped 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.54 million in the second quarter from 4.57 million in the first quarter, but were 8.6% above the 4.18 million pace during the second quarter of 2011. At the end of the second quarter, there were 2.39 million existing homes available for sale, which is 24.4% below the close of the second quarter of 2011 when there were 3.16 million homes on the market. NAR notes that there has been a steady downtrend since inventories set a record of 4.04 million in the summer of 2007.
First-time buyers purchased 34% of all homes in the second quarter, compared with 33% in the first quarter and 35% in the second quarter of 2011. The share of all-cash home purchases was 29% in the second quarter, down from 32% in the first quarter; it was 30% in the second quarter of 2011.Â
Investors, who make up the bulk of cash purchasers and compete with first-time buyers, accounted for 19% of all transactions in the second quarter, down from 22% in the first quarter; they were 19% a year ago.