Mortgage industry number-crunchers at RealtyTrac reveal in their latest batch of data on the state of housing. It reports that ten metro areas have hit new median price highs as of July. The top 10 includes an abundance of western cities, such as San Jose, CA at $822,000; and Colorado metros Denver and Aurora at $295,000. Colorado Springs has reached $215,000, and Boulder $389,450. From the Midwest, hot spots include Columbus, OH at $155,000; Omaha/Council Bluffs, NB/IA ($168,000); and Madison, WI ($220,000). Along the Eastern U.S., prices have spiked in Burlington and South Burlington, VT ($235,500), and Raleigh-Cary, NC ($208,500). Just one Southern metro registered as one of the top 10 hottest markets: Nashville, TN ($179,900). Interviewed agents noted an increased sense of urgency due to the threat of increased interest rates and national economic concerns. The hot markets seem to be finding enough homes to meet pent-up demand, as well as drive a renewed level of interest in buyers.
Despite the healthy gains in markets across the country, listing and data firm Trulia argues that the market may be starting to show signs of slowing down. Recent price and sales figures may be seen in hindsight as a high-water mark. Using their measure of how long homes are sitting on the market, it seems that despite tight inventory, homes are taking longer to sell this summer than they did last year. Additionally, the slowdown is not limited to one price tier. However, Trulia economists note that while national numbers are showing signs of slowing, many markets (California in particular) are still white hot, with homes flying off the market in half the time.
Bottom line: if you are looking to sell your home, there's evidence that the market may never be hotter. If you're in the market to buy, know that in addition to looming interest rate increases, homes are available, and inventory is expanding in various markets.