Property prices increase in most US metro areas

New data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals that home prices across the United States continued to increase in the first quarter of 2015.

The median existing single family home price increased in 85 per cent of markets measured by the NAR, with 148 out of 174 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) recording an increase. Meanwhile, 25 markets (or 14 per cent) recorded lower median prices from a year earlier.

The five most expensive housing markets in the first quarter were the San Jose, California, metro area, where the median existing single family price was US$900,000 followed by San Francisco at US$748,300, Honolulu at US$699,300, Anaheim-Santa Ana in California at US$685,700 and San Diego at US$510,300.

The lowest cost metro areas in the first quarter were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, where the median single family home price was US$64,300 then Cumberland, Maryland at US$71,600, Rockford, Illinois at US$78,600 and Toledo, Ohio at US$83,800.

The overall national median existing single family home price in the first quarter was US$205,200, up 7.4 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 when it was US$191,100.

If you’re planning on moving to the United States in the coming months and, more importantly, looking to buy a home there, then given the rising prices in most areas of the country it is arguably more important than ever to make your money go as far as possible. And this is where making sure you get the best possible exchange rate when changing your Pounds to Dollars is crucial.

While some would-be immigrants view the exchange market as little more than a lottery, and are happy to exchange their money when they have it regardless of the rate they receive,  wiser emigrants plan the exchange well in advance by engaging the services of a specialist foreign exchange firm like Halo Financial.

When exchanging large lump sums for emigration purposes, only a small change in the market can have a significant impact on the amount of money you could be potentially starting your new life with.

For example, imagine you sold your UK property last month and decided to exchange, say, £150,000 for US Dollars. If you had waited a while and carried out this exchange yesterday then you would have received US$235,500. However, had you rushed into the exchange, purely because you had the money available, then exactly one month ago you would have received a far less wallet friendly US$218,150 – a potential loss of US$17,350in a single month, just from not taking your time and seeking expert advice.

To find out how you can make sure you can get the best exchange rate possible, and take advantage of positive fluctuations in the markets, visit