Prices Trend Up, With New England Seeing A Spike

As home prices continue to rise across the country, New England is a hot spot for year-over-year gains.

CoreLogic’s national Home Price Index increased for the 139th consecutive month in August, up 3.7% YOY, the biggest gain since February 2023. Prices are now 42% higher than in March of 2020, when the pandemic began.

Massachusetts’ top-dollar homes reflect a growing interest in the Northeast. New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island sported the largest YOY price gains in August.

Strong jobs markets and relative affordability make the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic attractive to cost-sensitive buyers, pulling them away from pricey areas that were hot in the last few years.

Not every market saw an appreciation jump. In eight states, prices fell in August, forcing the national median sales price to stay put at $375,000 despite increases elsewhere. 

For the time being, however, those eight states are in the minority, representing the smallest number of states with price declines since February.

Price declines were concentrated in the West, where many pandemic hotspot markets have been correcting to better reflect the challenges borrowers face in the current high-rate environment.

CoreLogic expects YOY price gains to relax to 3.4% across the rest of the country by next August.

Interest rates should slip in the early part of 2024, giving buyers breathing room and encouraging rate-locked sellers to put their homes on the market. An increase in inventory would push price appreciation down.

“While continued mortgage rate increases challenge affordability across U.S. housing markets, home price growth is in line with typical seasonal averages, reflecting strong demand bolstered by a healthy labor market, strong wage growth, and supporting demographic trends,” said Selma Hepp, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Still, with a slower buying season ahead and the surging cost of homeownership, additional monthly price gains may taper off.”

Continuing a years-long trend of Florida dominance, Miami took the number one spot for price gains by metro, clocking an 8.3% increase. 

By median sales price, California ($705,000), the District of Columbia ($630,000), and Massachusetts ($585,000) led the pack.

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