Median home prices were up 9.1 percent during the first quarter of 2018 compared with the first quarter of 2017. (Reuters)

Price appreciation around the country during the first quarter of 2018 drove home values to a median price of $240,000, less than 1 percent below the pre-recession peak of $241,500 during the third quarter of 2005, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a property database. Nationally, median home prices were up 9.1 percent during the first quarter of 2018 compared with the first quarter of 2017. Median prices in 57 of 105 metro areas (54 percent) were above their pre-recession peaks.

While rising home values are good for homeowners, fewer buyers can afford the houses listed for sale. Researchers at the National Association of Realtors and realtor.com compared mortgages, income levels and home listings to develop their “affordability score,” which declined nationally from 0.86 to 0.84 when comparing March 2017 with March 2018. A score of one or higher generally indicates a market where homes for sale are more affordable in proportion to household income.

The metro areas with at least 1 million people where prices were 30 percent or more above their pre-recession peak, according to ATTOM, include:

  • Houston (69 percent above peak)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (67 percent)
  • Denver (62 percent)
  • San Jose (60 percent)
  • San Antonio (57 percent)
  • Nashville (46 percent)
  • Austin (45 percent)
  • Salt Lake City (42 percent)
  • Raleigh (35 percent)
  • Indianapolis (31 percent)
  • Oklahoma City (30 percent)

Home affordability depends on household incomes and mortgage rates as well as home prices. NAR’s researchers found that affordability actually increased in some markets. The states with the greatest increase in their affordability rate from March 2017 to March 2018 were the District, Vermont, Hawaii and North Dakota.

For the ATTOM report, visit attomdata.com/news/market-trends/home-sales-prices/q1-2018-u-s-home-sales-report/

For the NAR Affordability report, visit nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/housing-statistics/realtors-affordability-distribution-curve-and-score