Avg. Home Prices Increase in 91 Cities Through First Quarter

In Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent update to their first-quarter findings, they have announced that home prices rose in 91 American cities. Bloomberg attributes this to the tax credit taking a significant number of properties off the market and the slow but steady recovery of states hit hard by high foreclosure rates.

“Cities that led the nation in foreclosures a year earlier had the biggest price increases as a tax credit of as much as $8,000 boosted demand and drove the supply of unsold homes to a four-year low in January, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors’ group,” Bloomberg’s Kathleen M. Howley reports, “In the second half of the year, employment growth and an improving economic situation should keep the housing recovery on track,” adds Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist for IHS Global Insight, in a telephone interview from his office in Lexington, MA.

“The median price of an existing U.S. home peaked at $230,300 in July of 2006 and hit a low of $164,600 in February, according to NAR data. The drop was 13 percent in 2009, outpacing 2008’s 9.5 percent decline,” the report continues, “This year, prices may increase 2.5 percent as the economy improves, according to the Realtors’ forecast.”

Here are some figures that the report provides on some cities in the Northeast:

“The median price of a single-family home in the New York metropolitan area rose 1.8 percent to $380,400 in the three months ended March 31. The areas surrounding New Haven and Milford, Connecticut, gained 5.3 percent to $227,900.

The Edison, New Jersey, region had a 1.5 percent gain in the median price to $325,800; and Hartford, Connecticut, posted a 1.6 percent increase to $225,900. Prices in the Boston metropolitan area increased 11 percent to $321,800.

‘The market has changed dramatically from last year, with things now selling fairly quickly at close to asking price,’ said Mary Kelleher, a real estate broker with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston. ‘Last year was like having root canal surgery.’

To read the full article from Bloomberg, click here.

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