Photo: Neal Lindsay/Flickr
It may have taken 10 years, but national home values hit a new all-time high last month.
The median price of a US home in April was $198,000, up 7.3 percent from a year before, according to listing site Zillow’s latest Home Value Index reading.
April’s reading was 1 percent higher than the previous peak value of $196,600 reached in April 2007 — the height of the housing boom.
After that month a decade ago, the housing market crashed amid the subprime mortgage crisis.
Now, a nationwide inventory shortage could be lifting US home prices to new heights, says Zillow in a report including the index results.
However, some markets are recovering faster than others.
Median home prices in 10 of the 32 largest US metros exceeded pre-recession peaks a year or more ago, while another 17 have yet to achieve previous top values, says Zillow.
In the New York metro area, for instance, home prices were up 8 percent annually to $414,800 in April, but values were still almost 7 percent shy of bubble-era peaks.
As home values continue to surpass previous high points nationwide, some observers may wonder if the country could be in the midst of entering another housing bubble.
But it’s very unlikely we’ll see a new US housing bubble anytime soon, Zillow suggests.
“Loose credit, speculation and overbuilding were ingredients in a recipe for disaster. Now, healthy home buyer demand is being driven largely by a stable economy and demographic tailwinds, which is exactly what we would expect in a healthy market,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.
National home values are growing at a heightened pace because supply hasn’t caught up with demand. To wit, there were 8 percent fewers homes for sale in April than the previous year.
The April inventory drops were far greater in some metros: Minneapolis, MN, and Columbus, OH, saw listings down 27 percent from a year ago, while in Seattle, WA, listings plummeted 20 percent, on a year-over-year basis.
Click here to read the entire report.