Altadena Real Estate

Short Sales And REO’s Pull Median Prices Down

The National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) released some “mixed” news today. While it’s nice to have our beliefs validated with hard data, this information supports what Steve and I have been seeing in the marketplace…

The median resale single-family home price fell in 88% of the 152 metro areas tracked in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, according to an NAR report, with 18 areas reporting price increases. Nationally, the median price of resale single-family homes dropped 13.8% year-over-year in the first quarter, to $169,000. The association blamed sales of foreclosures and short sales for “downwardly skewing median prices,” noting that “distressed homes typically are selling for 20% less than traditional homes.”

Seven of the metro areas with the sharpest year-over-year price declines in the first quarter are in Florida, seven are in California and three are in Ohio.

Honolulu had the highest median single-family resale home price among all of the markets tracked in the first quarter, at $570,000, followed by San Jose ($450,000); Anaheim, Calif. ($435,800); New York-Wayne-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. ($429,900); San Francisco ($402,000); Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. ($376,700); Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. ($374,500); Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. ($358,200); Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. ($347,400); and Boulder, Colo. ($328,400).

Regionally, the median price of single-family resale homes slipped 19.8% in the West, 15.9% in the Northeast, 10.8% in the South and 6.8% in the Midwest in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, NAR reported.

Also today, NAR released statewide sales statistics for resale single-family homes and condos. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for sales of resale homes was 4.59 million in the first quarter, down 3.2% compared to fourth quarter 2008 and down 6.8% compared to the first quarter 2008 rate. This rate is a projection of a quarterly sales total over a full year, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity. First quarter sales grew in 17 states compared to the fourth quarter, with sales up in six states compared to first quarter 2008.

“Sales in the first quarter do not reflect an impact from the first-time homebuyer tax credit,” NAR reported.

Home sales jumped in several states that have been hit hard by foreclosures — sales were up 116.8% year-over-year in the first quarter in Nevada; up 80.6% in California; 50.2% in Arizona, 25% in Florida; 12.2% in Virginia; and 11.9% in Minnesota.

Regionally, sales were up 24.3% in the West in the first quarter compared to first quarter 2008, while dropping 20.1% in the Northeast, 13.1% in the Midwest, and 12.7% in the South.

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