NAR survey shows home prices continue to fall
Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in January from a downwardly revised 5.22 million in December, and are 5.3 percent above the 5.09 million level in January 2010. This is the first time in seven months that sales activity was higher than a year earlier.But the optimism fades quickly when you look at the details. A parallel NAR survey shows first-time buyers purchased 29 percent of homes in January, down from 33 percent in December and 40 percent in January 2010 when an extended tax credit was in place. Median condo prices have come down 10% in the last 12 months.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $158,800 in January, down 3.7 percent from January 2010. Distressed homes edged up to a 37 percent market share in January from 36 percent in December; it was 38 percent in January 2010.This echoes the Case Shiller survey which also shows falling home prices nationwide. Even though homes are moving, it it mostly because prices are fallling and people are paying in cash.