Home prices flattening, even falling in some areas

Listing prices are up 35% in Sacramento and down 10.7% in Peoria, a new report says. And the number of cities reporting higher prices is dropping.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Dec 18, 2012 2:31PM

© Stockbyte/Getty ImagesNew data from Realtor.com points up the fragility of the housing-market recovery. The national median home listing price, after rising earlier this year, is back to last year’s level.


That comes as the number of homes for sale continues to shrink, according to new data from Realtor.com. The median home price stands at $189,900, exactly where it was in November 2011.


"As 2012 comes to a close, there are signs that the housing market may have reached a crucial junction," the organization wrote in its latest trend data report.


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"Flat list prices — a leading indicator of future house price trends — most likely signal a slowdown in the recent rate of house-price appreciation. At the same time, historically low inventories suggest that significant price concessions on the part of home sellers may be coming to an end," the report says. "How these potentially offsetting trends play out in the housing market will depend on a variety of factors, including potential buyers’ optimism regarding the continued strength of the overall economy."

This is the latest in a string of reports to point up the difference in the health of the housing market in different cities. While the national median home price stayed flat between November 2011 and November 2012, the median list price rose as high as 35.29% in Sacramento, Calif., and fell as much as 10.72% in Peoria-Pekin, Ill.


"Patterns that have been observed throughout the year continued to run their course, as markets that were once the epicenter of the housing crisis continued to strengthen while markets in more industrialized parts of the Midwest and Northeast continued to fall behind," the report said.

The number of existing homes for sale was at the lowest point since early 2007, down 16.87% from a year ago and more than 45% below the number of homes for sale at the peak in September 2007.


The number of homes for sale is down in all but five of the 146 markets covered in the report. The number of homes for sale rose only in Shreveport, La. (14.16%); Philadelphia (6.94%); the Philadelphia metro area in New Jersey (1.84%); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1.44%); and Reading, Pa. (0.14%). 

Despite the inventory decline, prices dropped in 46 cities, stayed about the same in 30 and rose in 70. "The number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines has increased steadily in recent months, underscoring the continued fragility of many housing markets," the report said.


The biggest increase in list prices was reported in:

  • Sacramento, Calif.: 35.29%
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: 29.62%
  • San Francisco: 22.88%
  • San Jose, Calif.: 21.91%
  • Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: 21.37%
  • Oakland, Calif.: 20.39%
  • Fresno, Calif.: 18.19%
  • Atlanta: 14.72%
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.: 13.31%
  • Punta, Gorda, Fla.: 13.13%

The biggest decrease in prices was reported in: 

  • Peoria-Pekin, Ill.: 10.72%
  • Toledo, Ohio: 9.09%
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.: 9.09%
  • Charleston, W.Va.: 8.53%
  • Reading, Pa.: 7.84%
  • Dayton-Springfield, Ohio: 7.18%
  • Chicago: 6.72%
  • Philadelphia, Pa.-N.J.: 6.56%
  • Jersey City, N.J.: 6.35%
  • Columbia, Mo.: 5.95%
Dec 29, 2012 8:19PM

Foreclosures and the number of people under water isn't over. Tons of people want to sell and can't, they're waiting for prices to surge. Right ... If you buy now you will lose some or all of your dwn payment. It's not over. If you need a place to live rent awhile longer.  Cash is king for a few more yrs. Municipalities, cities, towns, Co's, small business are still in trouble. Taxes ,OVH costs and transfer fees are all still going up. write offs are going dwn. Robert Schilling is right it's got some more to go dwn yet.

Be careful !!!

Dec 29, 2012 6:20PM
Stupidity seems to  reign in this country when it comes to housing. Wingnuts claimed there was a bubble. These people were not misinformed, they were / are just plain STUPID! Unfortunately somehow they were given credibility. Except for a few super expensive areas (California, NY City) most places were priced right.  If the materials and labor cost 150,000,  how can the house be worth 100,000?  But that is what these wingnuts say. If a house is worth less than the materials and property, they still think they are right. .

A house is worth the price of the material cost + property (at reasonable price not NY City rates) +labor (usually more than materials). 

Now they  are saying materials+ property -50,000 = market value or used home Price 10 years back -50000 = new price.  INSANITY.  Why does it cost more to buy a home in a 2nd or 3rd world country than in the US?  Because they understand real estate, we don't..we just follow the Wingnuts.  

Dec 29, 2012 1:50PM
For the dirtbags that hope house prices continue to fall, do you believe that car prices are too high?  Considerring that cars cost about 30% of a starter home and are worth nothing after 10 years, do they really expect house prices to continue to decline?  Of course they haven't seen how much building material costs have increased in the past ten years.  Why is a monthly car payment equal to a home payment considerred sane?
Dec 29, 2012 12:59PM

Nobody is talking about QE3. The government is giving 40 BILLION a month to the banks and mortgage lenders trying to keep the prices high. Let the free market work or give help to the homeowners. 

Dec 29, 2012 12:24PM
 Our bubble caused people to think if home prices didn't go up 20% or more a year it's a disaster which is nonsense. If home prices over time go up much more than inflation you'd eventually have million dollar shacks.
Dec 29, 2012 12:16PM

Most of the positive numbers have been manipulated, miscatigorized or "spun" to make them look good


Call them "disinformation"


We are still in a housing slump overall across the cournty and particularly in the midwest where I live


 We will remain in a housing slump until the govenment, lenders, banks and or the federal reserve allow us not to be in a slump


Apparently, the current administation is not concerned


Sale prices and the number of sales are way down in the fourth quarter of this year as they were in the second quarter of this year


Psychology only goes so far, then reality kicks in !


There are so few buyers in the market right now, it's scary

Dec 29, 2012 11:31AM
Homes, in this country are all over-priced. People are just hungry for money. In other words, Americans are greedy people who only care about themselves and no one else. And the way this country is going, greed is one day going to bury this country, we call America. And we can all blame ourselves for doing so.
Dec 29, 2012 9:54AM
If they take away the mortgage interest tax deduction it will seem as though there was never a recovery and I seriously doubt it would recover without that deduction being in place.
Dec 29, 2012 8:20AM
Dec 29, 2012 8:15AM
investors wait till that wears off and economic slump and crash begin again.
Dec 29, 2012 3:01AM
why not mention the greatest losers of all.the American people.

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