Lack of supply pushes US property prices to record high

Residential property prices in the United States reached a new record high in the second quarter of 2018, up 5.3% to $255,400, the latest index figures show.

Staggeringly low inventory levels in much of the country are responsible.

The San Francisco metro area joined the San Jose metro area for having a median sales price above $1 million and single-family home prices increased in 90% of markets, with 161 out of 178 metropolitan statistical areas showing sales price gains in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

The index also shows that sales fell by 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million in the second quarter from 5.51 million in the first quarter, and are 2.4% lower than the 5.55 million pace during the second quarter of 2017.

‘Solid economic growth, a healthy labour market and the large millennial population should be driving home sales much higher.

Homebuilders, facing higher costs and labour shortages, are simply not producing enough affordable homes to satisfy demand.

A breakdown of the figures shows that sales in the Northeast were unchanged from the first quarter of 2018 and down 8.9% from a year ago with a median price of $288,900, up 2.3% year on year. In the Midwest, sales increased by 1.6% in the second quarter but are 2.8% below a year ago with a median price of $210,600, up 3.5% on an annual basis.

Sales in the South declined 2.7% in the second quarter but up 0.6% year on year with a median price of $238,500, some 4% higher than a year earlier. While in the West sales fell 4.1% and 3.6% down on a year ago. The median price was up 8.3% from the second quarter of 2017 at $403,300.

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