Home sales rose in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., in the third quarter, though median prices fell in the vast majority of metropolitan areas covered by the National Association of Realtors in its latest quarterly report. Of 150 metro areas, 111 (74 percent) saw the median sales price of existing single-family homes decline in third-quarter 2011 compared to third-quarter 2010. The remaining 39 metros saw price gains. Nationally, the median sales price fell 4.7 percent year over year, to $169,500 -- a steeper annual decline than that seen in the second quarter (down 2.8 percent). In its latest forecast, NAR expects median existing-home prices to decline 4 percent this year compared to 2010.The trade group also expects existing-home sales to increase by 1 percent this year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.955 million. Total U.S. existing-home sales -- which include single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops -- rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million ...
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