The median existing U.S. home price hit $419,300 in May, the highest on record, according to a Friday report from the National Association of Realtors.

The median sales price across all types of housing jumped 5.8% from May 2023 and marks the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains in spite of a sizable inventory increase over the past 12 months.

Total existing-home sales, a measure of completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 0.7% from April to a seasonally adjusted 4.11 million in May, according to the association.

“Eventually, more inventory will help boost home sales and tame home price gains in the upcoming months,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press statement. “Increased housing supply spells good news for consumers who want to see more properties before making purchasing decisions.”

The nearly yearlong streak of price upticks comes even amid a U.S. housing supply that is on the rise. According to the association, total housing inventory registered at the end of May was 1.28 million units, up 6.7% from April and 18.5% from the same time last year.

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Pricing out first-time buyers

Record home prices and limited inventories alongside mortgage rates that are hovering near 20-year highs have combined to put an affordable home purchase out of reach for a growing group of U.S. individuals and families.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage stands at 6.87%, according to the latest data from Freddie Mac. That’s down .08% from last week and marks the third straight week of declines but is up 0.2% from a year ago.

“Home prices reaching new highs are creating a wider divide between those owning properties and those who wish to be first-time buyers,” Yun said. “The mortgage payment for a typical home today is more than double that of homes purchased before 2020. Still, first-time buyers in the market understand the long-term benefits of owning.”


High interest rates not only elevate affordability challenges for first-time homebuyers, they also act as a deterrent for current homeowners to put their property on the market, knowing they’ll be facing higher rates for their subsequent home purchases. And that dynamic serves to keep inventories low, exacerbating the affordability cycle.

“Somewhat of a strange phenomenon, where we have low home-sales activity yet prices are hitting record highs,” Yun told The Wall Street Journal. “Affordability is a challenge.”

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What’s the average home price in Utah?

In Utah, the median home price was well north of the national average at $545,900 in May, according to data compiled by Redfin. The price represents a 3.7% uptick from April’s median but is well below the state’s all-time price record of $573,600 set in May 2022. Utah’s home inventory also rose over last year, though at a slower pace than the national average with listings up 9.8% over May 2023.

While home prices across the state are up less than 4% on average over the past 12 months, some communities have seen a much faster price acceleration over the past year. The median price for a home in Hurricane is up 40.9% since the same time last year, up 26.9% in West Haven and 18.4% in North Ogden, per Redfin data.

Utah home prices see slower growth amid national affordability crisis
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