Metro home prices stabilize, sales rise

The upward trend in home prices solidified in the second quarter of 2010 with more metropolitan areas showing increases from a year ago, aided by a rise in home sales driven by the homebuyer tax credit, according to a survey released today by the National Association of Realtors. In the second quarter, 100 out of 155 metropolitan areas — including New York City, Miami and Fort Lauderdale — had higher median existing single-family home prices compared to the second quarter of 2009. Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 9.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in the second quarter from 5.14 million in the first quarter.

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“All year we’ve been seeing relatively flat national home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. He noted that many recorded home prices were significantly depressed last year because of distressed homes sold at discount. “Now, as more normal, non-distressed home sales are occurring, the median price in many areas is showing higher values,” Yun added. “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.” TRD