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California tops list of expensive housing markets, Phoenix in middle

As it turns out, the most populated state in the country is also one of the most expensive states for single-family homes.

The latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors shows four California cities occupy the top five most expensive metro areas in the U.S.

The most expensive metro areas for existing single-family home prices were:

1. San Jose, California – $900,000
2. San Francisco, California – $748,300
3. Honolulu, Hawaii – $699, 300
4. Anaheim-Santa Ana, California – $685,700
5. San Diego, California – $510,300

With demand outweighing housing supply in these and other areas, home prices elevated during the first quarter of 2015.

Overall, the steady rise in home values in recent years has allowed homeowners to accumulate household wealth. But there is still hesitation for homeowners to move-up and sell because they’re not confident they’ll find another home to buy, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“This trend, in addition to subpar homebuilding activity, is leading to the ongoing investor shortages and subsequent run-up in prices seen in many markets,” he said.

Nationally, Phoenix falls in the middle of the pack in terms of median home prices. According to the NAR, single-family home prices in the Phoenix metro area averaged $206,100 in the first quarter of 2015.

The NAR also identified the five lowest-cost areas for home prices:

1. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio – $64,300
2. Cumberland, Maryland – $71,600
3. Rockford, Illinois – $78,600
4. Decatur, Illinois – $82,200
5. Toledo, Ohio – $83,800

Regionally, sales on existing homes dropped in the Northeast, Midwest and the South in the first quarter of 2015, but remained above sales totals in the first quarter of 2014. Home prices in these regions were also above median single-family home prices from the same quarter last year.

Existing home sales in the West, meantime, saw a slight increase in the first quarter of 2015 and are still above sales from a year ago. And, like the other regions, home prices in the West also increased from the first quarter a year ago.

Join Realtor Diane Brennan for That Real Estate Show Sundays at 8 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM