U.S. Median Home Price at Highest Level Since 2008

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ZillowThis home listed at $109,900 in Toledo, Ohio, is in a market where the median sales price is up 33 percent in a year.
The median sales price of U.S. single family homes and condos in October was $193,000, up 16 percent from a year ago to the highest level since September 2008, according to the latest data released by RealtyTrac, a leading housing data source. But prices are still below the 2006 peak.
"This U.S. recovery is largely being driven by investors," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "More than 32 percent of all single-family homes and condos purchased so far in 2014 are non-owner occupied compared to 68 percent that are owner-occupied. That is the highest share of investor purchases since we began tracking in 2001."

The median sales price of distressed homes -- those in the foreclosure process or bank-owned -- was $128,701 nationwide in October, 36 percent below the median sales price of non-distressed properties, $200,000. But distressed home prices increased at a faster pace, up 18 percent from a year ago, while non-distressed home prices were up 11 percent during the same period.

"The demand is strong for a lessening distressed inventory and pushing prices to their highest level since 2008," said Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, covering the South Florida market. "Additionally, due to the long delay in our judicial foreclosure system we are now seeing a higher quality of distressed inventory being liquidated, although overall home prices have begun to gradually level off over the past few months as the market normalizes."

Markets with highest home price appreciation
All major cities in Ohio graced the Top 12 nationwide among metro areas with a population of 500,000 or more with the biggest annual increase in median sales price. Toledo, Ohio, was up 33 percent and took the top spot, followed by Detroit (up 27 percent), Cleveland (up 21 percent), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (up 21 percent), and Dayton, Ohio, which was up 20 percent.

"Ohio's housing marketplace is continuing to build momentum, as the number of homes put under contract in October reached an all-time high for the [year] and achieved the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year gains," said Chris Hall, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors. "The industry is hopeful that we'll continue to build upon the solid foundation that's been established during the first 10 months as we move forward."

Other major markets with double-digit appreciation compared to a year ago included Memphis, Tenn. (up 18 percent), Austin, Texas (up 17 percent), Miami (up 16 percent), Houston (up 16 percent), Cincinnati (up 15 percent), and Chicago (up 15 percent).
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