he six-county region's median price reached $600,000 in August, up 12.1% from a year earlier, according to data released Wednesday by DQNews.
That was the largest percentage increase since 2014 and the third consecutive month during which prices set a new all-time high. Sales rose 2.4% from a year earlier.
The price leap may seem unlikely amid double-digit unemployment, but analysts say the trend reflects the uneven effect of the coronavirus and its economic fallout.
Compared with low-wage workers, people who tend to have the financial ability to buy homes have been less likely to lose their jobs, and in some ways, their ability to purchase a house has only expanded.
Interest rates have plunged, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now below 3%. And many typical entertainment and recreational activities are still closed or operating at reduced capacity, leading some households to save more at the very time they realize they could use much more space.
Part of the sharp double-digit increase in the median is simply its definition.
The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less and thus reflects not only actual increases in value but also the types of homes selling at any given moment.