The National Association of Realtors reported today that 28 of 149 U.S. metro areas tracked had double-digit percentage declines in median resale single-family home prices in the first quarter compared to first-quarter 2007, and the overall median price dropped at a record annual rate.

One hundred of the metro areas had price declines, according to the report, while prices rose in 48 metro areas and remained flat in Honolulu.

Nationally, the median price among those metro areas tracked was $196,300, down 7.7 percent compared to first-quarter 2007. That compares with a 5.8 percent year-over-year price decline in the fourth quarter, when prices fell in 77 of 150 reporting metro areas. The year-over-year U.S. median rice drop was the steepest since NAR began tracking metro prices in 1979.

Sales of resale single-family homes and condos experienced double-digit percentage drops in all but eight states in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, with sales rising in three states: Indiana, up 11.4 percent; New Jersey, up 4 percent; and Alaska, up 2.4 percent. Data was not available for New Hampshire.

Total sales of resale single-family homes and condos reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.95 million units in the first quarter, which was down 22.2 percent below the 6.36 million rate in first-quarter 2007 and down 0.9 percent from 5 million in fourth-quarter 2007, the Realtor group reported.

The seasonally adjusted rate is a projection of a monthly sales rate over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity.

Binghamton, N.Y., topped the list of metro areas with an 11.8 percent year-over-year price gain in the first quarter, followed by Peoria, Ill., up 10.4 percent; Spartanburg, S.C., up 10.1 percent; Elmira, N.Y., up 9.6 percent; and Yakima, Wash., up 9 percent.

Three Texas metro areas also ranked in the top-10 list for the highest year-over-year price gains in the first quarter. El Paso, Texas, was up 8.5 percent; Amarillo, Texas, rose 8.2 percent; Glens Falls, N.Y., was up 7.7 percent; Farmington, N.M., rose 6.3 percent; and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, was up 6.1 percent.

The Sacramento, Calif., metro area had the steepest year-over-year decline in the median price of resale single-family homes in the first quarter, down 29.2 percent.

Lansing, Mich., was next with a 26.9 percent decline; San Diego, Calif., dropped 22.9 percent; Sarasota, Fla., fell 22.2 percent; Los Angeles fell 21.3 percent; Grand Rapids, Mich., fell 20.7 percent; Las Vegas fell 20.2 percent; Memphis dropped 18.2 percent; and Miami, down 17.2 percent.

Three metro areas tied for 10th place in steepest year-over-year price drop in the first quarter, at 17 percent: Cape Coral, Fla., Davenport, Iowa; and Palm Bay, Fla.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the results of the latest report "are highly unusual results because there were very few jumbo loan originations in the latest quarter, so sales are much slower in high-cost areas, and at the same time foreclosures related to subprime mortgages rose."

Those neighborhoods with little subprime exposure are faring better, Yun said, while "prices have fallen in neighborhoods with a wide prevalence of subprime loans because more foreclosed properties are being sold at discounted prices."

More than half of all foreclosures are related to subprime mortgages, which account for about 10 percent of all homeowners, Yun said.

Median first-quarter metro area single-family median home prices ranged from a low of $65,400 in the Saginaw, Mich., metro area, to $780,000 in the San Jose, Calif., metro area.

Youngstown, Ohio, ranked second for its low median price in the first quarter, at $67,700, NAR reported, followed by Decatur, Ill., at $79,400. San Francisco ranked as the second-most costly metro area for homes, with a median price of $701,620, followed by Honolulu at $620,000.

Home sales dropped the most in Maryland, down 38.6 percent, in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year. Washington, D.C., followed with a 33.9 percent decline; Utah was down 33.9 percent; Idaho, down 33.1 percent; Delaware, down 31.8 percent; Arizona, down 31 percent; Rhode Island, down 29.8 percent; Oregon, down 29.5 percent; Washington, down 29.4 percent; and Massachusetts, down 29.1 percent.

The national median resale condo and co-op price was $216,900 in the first quarter, down 3 percent compared to first-quarter 2007. Twenty-three metros had year-over-year rises in median condo and co-op prices in the first quarter, while 31 had price declines and one was unchanged, NAR reported.

First-quarter condo prices rose 36.4 percent year-over-year in Bismarck, N.D., were up 15.3 percent in New Orleans, and were up 15.3 percent in Wichita, Kan. Condo prices dropped most in Sarasota, Fla., down 35 percent; Sacramento, Calif., down 33.4 percent; and Miami, down 26.4 percent, according to the report.




NAR Metro Price Data, Q1 2008

Metro area

Med. Price, Q1 ’07

Med. Price, Q1 ’08

% change

Sacramento, Calif.




Riverside, Calif.




Lansing, Mich.




San Diego, Calif.




Sarasota, Fla.




Los Angeles




Grand Rapids, Mich.




Las Vegas












Metro area

Q1 ’07

Q1 ’08

% change

Binghamton, N.Y.




Peoria, Ill.




Spartanburg, S.C.




Elmira, N.Y.




Yakima, Wash.




El Paso, Texas




Amarillo, Texas




Glens Falls, N.Y.




Farmington, N.M.




Beaumont, Texas




*Price figures are in 1000s and are based on sales prices of single-family resale homes.

Source: National Association of Realtors.







What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Real estate news and analysis that gives you the inside track. Subscribe to Inman Select for 50% off.SUBSCRIBE NOW×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription