More metro areas saw double-digit price increases in year-over-year median single-family existing home sales in the first quarter of 2022. (Photo: Pexels).

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

More metro areas saw double-digit price increases in year-over-year median single-family existing home sales in the first quarter of 2022. The increase brought double-digit growth to 70% of the 185 metros analyzed, outpacing the 66% of metros the previous quarter. Prices increased despite rising mortgage rates and a decline in home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) latest quarterly report.

In Colorado, Fort Collins joined the top 10 areas with the highest year-over-year price gains. The metro area’s median price increased 28.4% for the year in Q2. Boulder and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood are among the top 10 most expensive metros in the nation.

“Prices throughout the country have surged for the better part of two years, including in the first quarter of 2022,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see price declines, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.”

As mortgage rates rose in the first three months of the year, affordability worsened. Monthly mortgage payments increased by hundreds of dollars a month. On the typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment, the mortgage rose to $1,383, up $319 or 30%.

A homebuyer needed at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 27 markets and less than $50,000 in 63 markets.

“I expect more pullback in housing demand as mortgage rates take a heavier toll on affordability,” Yun said. “There are no indications that rates will ease anytime soon.”

Metros with double-digit price increases include midsize and small markets, with half located in Florida. Here are the 10 metros with the highest annual price gains:

1) Punta Gorda, Fla. — 34.4%
2) Ocala, Fla. — 33.8%
3) Ogden-Clearfield, Utah — 30.8%
4) Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. — 30.1%
5) Decatur, Ala. — 28.9%
6) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. — 28.8%
7) Fort Collins, Colo — 28.4%
8) North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla. — 28%
9) Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, N.C.-S.C. — 28%
10) Salt Lake City — 27.9%

Yun noted that price gains in smaller, tertiary cities are outpacing the more expensive primary and secondary markets, due to buyers seeking lower priced housing and benefitting from opportunities to work from home.

“Traditionally, homes in these markets were viewed as relatively inexpensive, but with recent migration trends, prices have increased significantly,” he said. “As more families relocate to various areas, we may see some surprising markets on our top 10 list.”

Sitting among the nation’s most expensive metros are Boulder and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood. Boulder clocks in with a median price of $859,100 and an annual price increase of 18.2%, while the Denver metro’s median price is $662,200 with a 19.4% annual price increase.

Half of these most expensive markets are in California. The 10 most expensive markets in the U.S. include the following with their median price and annual price gains:

1) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara — $1,875,000 median, up 25%
2) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward — $1,380,000 median, up 15%
3) Anaheim-Sta. Ana-Irvine — $1,260,000 median, up 26%
4) Urban Honolulu — $1,127,900 median, up 19.9%
5) San Diego-Carlsbad — $905,000 median, up 18.5%
6) Boulder — $859,100 median, up 18.2%
7) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale — $792,500 median, up 13.1%
8) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue — $746,200 median, up 14.2%
9) Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. — $745,000 median, up 24.3%
10) Denver-Aurora-Lakewood — $662,200 median, up 19.4%

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The association writes, “NAR releases quarterly median single-family price data for approximately 185 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). In some cases, the MSA prices may not coincide with data released by state and local Realtor® associations. Any discrepancy may be due to differences in geographic coverage, product mix and timing.”

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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit