The median resale single-family home price fell in 88 percent of the 152 metro areas tracked in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, according to a National Association of Realtors report, with 18 areas reporting price increases.

Nationally, the median price of resale single-family homes dropped 13.8 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, to $169,000.

The association blamed sales of foreclosures and short sales for "downwardly skewing median prices," noting that "distressed homes typically are selling for 20 percent less than traditional homes."

Fifteen markets experienced median-price declines of 30 percent or more in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, with the most severe decline (-59.1 percent) in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area, and the Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, Mich., metro area with the second-highest decline (-53.7 percent).

Akron, Ohio, was next on the list, down 48 percent, followed by San Francisco (-42.7 percent); San Jose, Calif. (-42.3 percent); Phoenix (-41.9 percent); Sarasota, Fla. (-40.8 percent); Riverside (-39.9 percent); Las Vegas (-37.3 percent); and Miami (-35.4 percent).

Seven of the metro areas with the sharpest year-over-year price declines in the first quarter are in Florida, seven are in California and three are in Ohio.

The Realtor group reported that Cumberland metro area of Maryland and West Virginia had the highest year-over-year median-price increase in the first quarter, up 21.1 percent.

The median price of resale single-family homes in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metro area of Iowa and Illinois shot up 13.8 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, followed by Columbia, Mo. (up 6 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (5 percent); Oklahoma City, Okla. (4 percent); Springfield, Ill. (3.9 percent); Shreveport-Bossier City, La. (3.4 percent); Topeka, Kan., and Syracuse, N.Y. (3.1 percent); and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. (2.7 percent).

Michigan’s Saginaw metro area had the lowest median price of resale single-family homes in the first quarter among all markets tracked, at $30,300, followed by Akron ($50,100); Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa. ($51,200); South Bend-Mishawaka, Ind. ($61,800); Toledo, Ohio ($65,500); Lansing-East Lansing, Mich. ($65,600); Canton-Massillon, Ohio ($66,200); Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio ($69,900); Grand Rapids, Mich. ($72,000); Elmira, N.Y., and Decatur, Ill. ($77,100).

Honolulu had the highest median single-family resale home price among all of the markets tracked in the first quarter, at $570,000, followed by San Jose ($450,000); Anaheim, Calif. ($435,800); New York-Wayne-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. ($429,900); San Francisco ($402,000); Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. ($376,700); Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. ($374,500); Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. ($358,200); Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. ($347,400); and Boulder, Colo. ($328,400). …CONTINUED

Regionally, the median price of single-family resale homes slipped 19.8 percent in the West, 15.9 percent in the Northeast, 10.8 percent in the South and 6.8 percent in the Midwest in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, NAR reported.

Also today, the association released statewide sales statistics for resale single-family homes and condos. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for sales of resale homes was 4.59 million in the first quarter, down 3.2 percent compared to fourth-quarter 2008 and down 6.8 percent compared to the first-quarter 2008 rate. This rate is a projection of a quarterly sales total over a full year, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity.

First-quarter sales grew in 17 states compared to the fourth quarter, with sales up in six states compared to first-quarter 2008. Sales data was not available for South Dakota.

"Sales in the first quarter do not reflect an impact from the first-time homebuyer tax credit," NAR reported.

Home sales jumped in several states that have been hit hard by foreclosures — sales were up 116.8 percent year-over-year in the first quarter in Nevada; up 80.6 percent in California; 50.2 percent in Arizona, 25 percent in Florida; 12.2 percent in Virginia; and 11.9 percent in Minnesota.

Year-over-year first-quarter sales plunged the most in Hawaii (-40 percent); North Carolina (-37 percent); Washington (-35.4 percent); Vermont (-34.4 percent); Indiana (-33.4 percent); Mississippi (-31.6 percent); South Carolina (-31.1 percent); Oregon (-29.4 percent); New Mexico (-29 percent); and North Dakota (-27.3 percent).

Idaho suffered the largest quarterly drop in sales in the first quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2008 (-48.2 percent), followed by Hawaii (-23.3 percent), Pennsylvania (-19.7 percent), Wisconsin (-19.1 percent), Indiana (-15.2 percent).

Wyoming experienced the largest quarterly gain compared to fourth-quarter 2008 (44.8 percent), followed by Alaska (36.7 percent), Nevada (25 percent), Minnesota (21.9 percent) and Arizona (12.8 percent).

Regionally, sales were up 24.3 percent in the West in the first quarter compared to first-quarter 2008, while dropping 20.1 percent in the Northeast, 13.1 percent in the Midwest, and 12.7 percent in the South.


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