The national median existing home sales price was increased slightly in Q210 compared to the same quarter a year ago, as 100 of 155 markets the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tracks experienced year-over-year price increases during the quarter. According to NAR’s second quarter Metro Area Home Price index, the national median existing single-family price was $176,900 in Q210, up 1.5% from $174,200 in Q209, meaning half of the homes sold during the quarter sold for more, and half sold for less. NAR added that distressed sales in the second quarter of 2010 accounted for 32% of all existing home transactions, down from 36% a year ago. NAR attributed the increase to additional sales volume spurred by the homebuyer tax credit. The report said total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 9.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61m in the Q210, from 5.14m in the Q110, and were 17.3% above the 4.78m-unit pace in Q209. In Q210, 100 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had higher median existing single-family home prices than in Q209, including 14 with double-digit increases. Two MSAs were unchanged and 53 saw price declines. During Q110, 91 areas experienced year-over-year increases. In Q209, that number was only 26. “All year we’ve been seeing relatively flat national home prices, which appear to be supported by market fundamentals,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in the report. “Prices in some areas remain below replacement construction costs, so even with an elevated supply of existing homes on the market, we don’t expect any consequential movement in home prices for the foreseeable future. Very low inventory of newly built homes also will help to support home values.” Another factor impacting the increase is the type of properties sold and whether the houses were sold as distressed or in traditional transactions, Yun said. “The recorded home prices in many markets were significantly depressed last year because of a large percentage of distressed homes sold at discount,” he said. “Now as more normal, non-distressed home sales are occurring, the median price in many areas is showing higher values.” Since Q110, sales volume increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Since Q209, sales volume is up in 47 states and DC. In the condo market, the median existing sales price was $175,700 in Q210, down 0.5% from Q209. In 26 of 55 markets, median condo prices increased and 29 declined. In Q209, four markets experienced increases. Regionally, the median existing single-family home prices took the biggest year-over-year decline in the Northeast, down 3.2% to $238,000 in Q210. Existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 14.9% quarter-over-quarter to a rate of 980,000 in Q210, 23.6% above the second quarter of 2009. The West experienced the biggest price increase, up 2.6% to $219,700 year-over-year in Q210. Existing-home sales declined 2.6% quarter-over-quarter to an annual rate of 1.23m, but are 7.6% higher than the rate in Q209. In the South, the median existing single-family home price slipped 2% to $155,500 year-over-year in Q210. Existing-home sales in the region increased 10.9% during the second quarter to an annual rate of 2.1m, up 18.8% from a year ago. The Midwest experienced a 1.4% decline in the median existing single-family home price, to $148,500 in Q210. Existing-home sales rose 14.5% during Q210 to a rate of 1.3m and are 20.9% above the same period in 2009. Write to Austin Kilgore.
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