Realtors: 91 of 152 Metro Areas See Home Price Increases in Q1 2010

by devteam May 11th, 2010 | Share

Nearlyrn60 percent of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) surveyed by the NationalrnAssociation of Realtors® (NAR) showed an increase in housing prices during thernfirst quarter of 2010 when compared to levels one year ago.  Even more have seen what NAR calledrn”healthy gains” in home sales.

The NAR surveycovered 152 MSAs, 91 of which showed higher median single-family home pricesrnduring the first quarter of 2010 than during the same period in 2009.  29 of the increases were in the double digits.  Prices continued to decline in 58 MSAs and werernunchanged in three.  In the fourthrnquarter of 2009, 67 areas showed increases while 123 areas saw prices decline. 

Nationallyrnthe median price of an existing single-family home was $166,000, down 0.7rnpercent from a year earlier when the price was $167,300.  Distressed homes which, NAR says arerntypically discounted by 15 percent in comparison to traditional sales,rnaccounted for 36 percent of the sales in the January-March period.

Lawrence Yun, NARrnchief economist, said of the national figure, “This flattening in home pricesrnis something we've been seeing in all of the home price measures lately andrnquite clearly in this metro area price report. The tax credit has been veryrneffective in drawing down excess inventory, with about one million additionalrnsales resulting directly from the stimulus.”

As many economists had predicted, the spike in home sales in the fourthrnquarter of 2009, which was driven largely by the first-time home buyer's taxrncredit, did not continue into the new year. Total existing-home sales,rnincluding single-family and condo sales, were at a seasonally adjusted annualrnrate of 5.14 million in the first quarter, down 14.0 percent from thernfourth quarter figure of 5.97 million. First quarter sales were still 11.4rnpercent higher than the 4.61 million-units sold one year earlier.

Year-agorncomparisons are more meaningful in this report due to sales swings from the taxrncredit,” Yun said.

NAR President Vicki CoxrnGolder, said buyers are looking at a home purchase in a new light.rn”Buyer confidence is back, and home buyers have long-term views. The typicalrnbuyer plans to stay in their home for 10 years, so we've put the flippingrnmentality behind us and most people see housing for what it is – shelter thatrnprovides social benefits and is also a good long-term investment,”

Golder said even with some recent easing of mortgage credit, the housingrnmarket continues to be constrained by mortgage issues.

She said that one-thirdrnof NAR members responding to other surveys say that obtaining a mortgage hasrnbeen a limiting factor for their customers, 11 percent report they have had arnsales contract canceled and another 16 percent have had to renegotiate arncontract because of a low appraisal. 

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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