Overall, U.S. home prices rose 6.7 year over year in January, according to a new report from real estate brokerage firm Redfin. The median home-sale price for the month was $306,400.
The metro areas that saw the largest sales price increases were the most affordable markets. Among the 20 cities with the largest hikes, 18 had prices below the national median.
The metros with the biggest price gains in January were:
Median price: $182,900
Year-over-year increase: 17.1 percent
Median price: $132,000
Year-over-year increase: 14.8 percent
Rochester, New York
Median price: $148,500
Year-over-year increase: 13.3 percent
The only three metro areas (of the 85 examined) to see a year-over-year decline in median sale price were San Jose, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Greenville, South Carolina.
As previously reported by FOX Business, inventory was expected to remain tight throughout 2020. In fact, according to a forecast from Realtor.com, the total number of available homes for sale could even hit a record low – particularly in the first-time buyer’s market.
Competition in the entry-level market was expected to lift prices.
In January, low mortgage rates were also pushing an unusual amount of buyers into the market.
“Typically, we don’t see this many buyers in January, but with mortgage rates at a 3-year low, there are plenty of early-birds hoping to secure a home and lock in an affordable mortgage payment,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.
Unlike the entry-level market, the luxury real estate market is facing headwinds, which have been heightened by coronavirus fears. The U.S. has suspended entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. Chinese buyers have traditionally been large purchasers of U.S. homes.