Median home prices show signs of stability - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Median home prices show signs of stability

WASHINGTON. - A real estate industry group says home prices rose in 40 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter of last year, as massive federal spending helped the housing market show signs of stability.
     
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that the median price for previously occupied homes sold rose in 67 out of 151 metropolitan areas in the October-December quarter versus a year ago. That's a sharp improvement from the third quarter, when prices rose in only 20 percent of cities surveyed.
     
The national median price was $172,900, or 4.1 percent below the fourth quarter last year. That was the smallest year-over-year price decline in more than two years.

The median price for a home in Washington was $244,000 in the fourth quarter, 8.5 percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2008.

For the whole year, the median sale price in Washington was $250,700, down 11.8 percent from 2008.

December home sales down nearly 17 percent

(January 25, 2010)

Sales of previously occupied homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years last month, plunging far deeper than expected after lawmakers gave buyers extended time to use a tax credit.
     
The National Association of Realtors says sales fell 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million in December, from an unchanged pace of 6.54 million in November. Sales had been expected to fall by about 10 percent, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
     
Buyers were no longer scrambling to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners. It had been due to expire on Nov. 30, but Congress extended the deadline until April 30.
     
The median sales price was $178,300, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and the first yearly gain since August 2007.

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