Housing prices continued their freefall in January, according to an analysis of properties listed-for-sale in 22 major metropolitan markets across the country. Nineteen markets saw their prices drop, with San Francisco falling 3.6 percent in January alone, while only the New York metro saw prices rise; both Dallas and Phoenix remained flat, according to the report issued Thursday by real estate research firms Altos Research and Real IQ. “Recent declines in mortgage rates will increase affordability and ultimately benefit the housing market,â€? said Michael Simonsen, CEO and co-founder of Altos Research, “but homebuyers may stay on the sidelines until they see evidence that housing prices have stopped declining.â€? Inventories falling, days-on-market increasing For-sale listed property inventories declined in every market over the most recent three month period, except in Miami where inventory increased 5.8 percent. Property inventories have declined by more than 10 percent in Chicago, Austin, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego and Cleveland over the past three months, according to the report. The report also found that the time-on-market increased in virtually all markets. Miami and Minneapolis experienced the longest time-on-market spans, with an average days-on-market of 144 in January. Sixteen of 22 markets had an average days-on-market of over 100, although some markets demonstrated faster turnover; Denver led all markets with the fastest rate of inventory turnover at 61 days, followed closely by Dallas and San Diego at 80 days. Denver’s days-on-market indicator, in particular, has fallen sharply in the past three months; the city has seen the measure of turnover decrease 39 percent during the past three months, while inventory has been reduced over 11 percent during the same period, the report found. “We are seeing signs of stability in several markets as inventory growth slows and turnover increases,â€? said Stephen Bedikian, partner and research director for Real IQ. “The question is whether the effect of lower mortgage rates will be outweighed by the slowing economy. A great rate won’t help the home buyer that has lost their job.â€? Click here to download the full report. For more information, visit http://www.altosresearch.com and http://www.realiq.com.

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