Third-quarter median home prices grow in metro areas

The day after the election brought some good news regarding home prices.

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that metropolitan-area median prices grew in the third quarter.

The national median existing single-family home price was $186,100 in the third quarter, up 7.6 percent from $173,000 in the third quarter of 2011, which the association reported is the strongest year-over-year price increase since the first quarter of 2006 when the median price rose 9.4 percent. In the second quarter the price increased 7.2 percent from a year earlier.

At the end of the third quarter 2.32 million existing homes were available for sale, which is 20 percent below the close of the third quarter of 2011 when 2.90 million homes were on the market, the Realtors’ group stated.

Existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 1.7 percent in the third quarter and are 9.8 percent above the third quarter of 2011. The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast slipped 0.3 percent to $246,900 in the third quarter from a year ago.

Jarrod C. Grasso, CEO of the N.J. Association of Realtors, said in a release that “If there’s one thing I can say about New Jersey residents, it’s that we’re resilient.  During the third quarter of this year, home prices in six of our eight metro areas demonstrated growth compared to last year.

“The Edison, N.J.-N.Y. metro area improved seven percent over last year, which was similar to the national rate of price growth. However, this was trumped even further by the Trenton-Ewing, N.J. figure, which grew 10 percent over last year.    

“Progress is being made, but area home prices still have a long way to go, considering the Garden State’s extensive volume of homes in the foreclosure process. The true test of Garden State resilience is happening now, as Realtors, residents and neighbors work to recover and rebuild the homes they’ve known for years, lifetimes and even generations.

“The impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey property values is yet to be seen, but the teamwork demonstrated by our governmental leaders, residents, first responders, workers, and volunteers has been outstanding and is a sign of strength and pride in our great state.”