Nearly half of homes on the market had experienced a price reduction at least once in October, according to a monthly review of multiple listing service listings in 26 major markets conducted by national online brokerage ZipRealty.

Sellers had cut asking prices on 48.4 percent of listings last month — a total of 316,097 homes. The number of discounted homes fell 2.2 percent from September but rose 22.4 percent compared to October 2009. (Note: October 2009’s figures include a 27th market: Sacramento). Homes had been reduced an average of two times, essentially flat from the same time last year.

Sellers discounted homes for a median $19,423, up 1.4 percent from September, but down 21.4 percent from October 2009. The median list price for homes last month was $241,309, down 1.6 percent month-to-month and 14.3 percent year-over-year.

The ratio of price-reduction amount to list price was 7.5 percent, up from 7.3 percent in September but down from 8.1 percent in October 2009.

Total for-sale inventory fell 3.3 percent month-to-month but rose 10.1 percent year-over-year to 653,811, ZipRealty reported.

In 12 out of 26 markets, more than half of sellers had slashed listing prices: Philadelphia, Pa.; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; Boston, Mass; Orange County, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; Tucson, Ariz.; Chicago, Ill.; Orlando, Fla.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Phoenix, Ariz.

By contrast, only three of 27 markets had seen more than half of their listings discounted in October 2009: Chicago, Jacksonville and Orlando.

For the first time in 2010, Phoenix led the pack last month with 56.1 percent of listings experiencing discounts. Denver, Colo., had the smallest share of discounted listings: 34 percent.

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