Real Estate

Home prices in steepest quarterly drop

Realtors say prices fell faster and in more places over last part of 2007.

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BY Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home prices continued their plunge during the last three months of 2007, setting a real estate trade group's record for the biggest-ever quarterly drop.

The national median price drop of 5.8%, to $206,200 from $219,300, was the steepest ever recorded by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which has been compiling the report since 1979.

NAR officials blamed the liquidity squeeze that began last summer for much of the drop. Home buyers had trouble obtaining mortgage financing, especially for more expensive properties.

"The continuing crunch in the jumbo loan market that began in August has disproportionately reduced the number of transactions in higher price ranges," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement.

Fewer expensive homes were sold, bringing down median prices.

"California, south Florida, D.C., many of the high-cost markets are reflecting that," said Walter Molony, a spokesman for NAR.

Each of the four U.S. regions recorded losses compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. The West took the worst hit, at 8.7%. Prices dropped 4.8% in the Northeast, 5.4% in the South and 3.2% in the Midwest.

In Lansing, Mich., square in the Midwest Rust Belt, prices plunged 18.8% to $109,600. In Sacramento, Calif., prices fell 18.5% to $197,600, and in both Jackson, Miss and Riverside, Calif. prices dropped 16.8%.

Seventy-three of the nation's 151 real estate markets recorded price gains. Cumberland, Md., led the winners with an increase of 19% to $116,600.

The least expensive single-family-home market in the nation got even cheaper, as prices in Youngstown, Ohio, dropped 9.3% to $72,600. The most expensive market, San Jose, Calif., got dearer, with prices up 11.2% to $845,300.

Condo prices fared better. The fourth-quarter median condo price of $221,100 was little changed from the $221,200 a year earlier.

But some areas, mostly Sun Belt cities, took significant price hits.

Cape Coral, Fla., condo prices were down 26% compared with the last three months of 2006 to $202,300, and Tucson, Ariz., prices dropped 19.8% to $128,000. Atlanta prices fell 12% to $141,100, and Las Vegas was off 10.3% to $178,500.

Bismarck, N.D., condo prices recorded the largest gain at 20.8% to $125,000, with New Orleans second at a 17.8% gain to $173,300.

Last year, fourth-quarter home prices were 2.7% lower from the year before.

"The healthiest housing markets today generally are moderately priced and are experiencing job growth and often population growth, which in turn is supporting strong price growth," said NAR's Yun. "Most of the weakest markets have either experienced both job and population losses, or they are experiencing corrections following a prolonged period of rapid price growth."

Many markets have also been affected by soaring foreclosure rates. Large numbers of houses for sale, many repossessed from borrowers, sit empty, depressing prices in cities from coast to coast - but most notably in economically distressed Midwest industrial towns and some once-booming Sun Belt cities.

NAR numbers are arrived at by examining the prices of all homes sold during the period. The median price is the one in which half of all homes sold for more and half for less.

Using median prices rather than mean - or average - prices reduces the impact of the sale of very expensive homes, which would raise mean prices disproportionately.

The NAR take on price trends, usually an optimistic one, was that recent steps taken in Washington would lead to improved conditions later this year.

"Higher limits for FHA loans, which go into effect March 14, will be a big help to first-time buyers in high-cost markets," said NAR President Richard Gaylord.

"Higher limits for conventional loans purchased by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will take a bit longer," he said. "When they become available, high-income, creditworthy borrowers in high-cost areas will have access to affordable and safer financing, and that will help unleash pent-up demand."

But other industry insiders are predicting harder times ahead. A Merrill Lynch report in January forecast peak-to-trough price declines of 15% in 2008 and another 10% in 2009 before markets begin to recover. To top of page

NAR 4th quarter 2007 home prices
Metro Area Median Price
4Q 2007 (in thousands)
% Change
(1-yr)
Akron, OH $109.1 -1.0%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $199.7 0.5%
Albuquerque, NM $195.9 4.5%
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ $246.5 -1.3%
Amarillo, TX $120.2 11.0%
Anaheim-Santa Ana, CA (Orange Co.) $657.4 -4.8%
Appleton, WI $130.9 1.9%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA $164.3 -1.5%
Atlantic City, NJ $278.8 10.7%
Austin-Round Rock, TX $185.7 6.4%
Baltimore-Towson, MD $275.1 -1.0%
Barnstable Town, MA $382.3 2.4%
Baton Rouge, LA $169.7 -2.1%
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX $113.6 -5.3%
Binghamton, NY $110.0 14.8%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL $156.1 -3.5%
Bismarck, ND $144.7 13.5%
Bloomington-Normal, IL $145.3 -4.0%
Boise City-Nampa, ID $198.0 -5.5%
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH** $380.7 -1.9%
Boulder, CO $371.1 3.4%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $460.2 3.3%
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY $105.4 9.1%
Canton-Massillon, OH $98.1 -7.6%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL $225.3 -13.0%
Cedar Rapids, IA $134.9 4.4%
Champaign-Urbana, IL $143.6 1.4%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $204.5 -3.0%
Charleston, WV $122.9 7.5%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC $204.7 3.3%
Chattanooga, TN-GA $121.6 -9.7%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL $261.0 -2.6%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN $132.4 -4.5%
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH $118.6 -9.4%
Colordo Springs, CO $210.7 -4.0%
Columbia, SC $144.9 N/A
Columbus, OH $137.2 -1.1%
Corpus Christi, TX $137.9 6.3%
Cumberland, MD-WV $116.6 19.0%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $145.0 0.5%
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $102.1 -1.6%
Dayton, OH $106.6 -10.8%
Decatur, IL $75.0 -15.9%
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL $181.1 -8.8%
Denver-Aurora, CO $230.1 -6.3%
Des Moines, IA $152.6 5.6%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI $133.3 -13.8%
Dover, DE $199.6 -3.2%
Durham, NC $178.1 5.6%
Elmira, NY $81.2 3.6%
El Paso, TX $133.6 1.4%
Erie, PA $98.6 -3.9%
Eugene-Springfield, OR $237.6 2.9%
Fargo, ND-MN $141.7 3.7%
Farmington, NM $186.5 1.9%
Ft. Wayne, IN $90.9 -10.5%
Gainesville, FL $196.7 -7.0%
Gary-Hammond, IN $124.6 1.1%
Glens Falls, NY $163.9 -6.0%
Grand Rapids, MI $124.3 -4.0%
Green Bay, WI $148.9 2.3%
Greensboro-High Point, NC $150.7 0.3%
Greenville, SC $155.4 3.6%
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS $150.4 -1.1%
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV $192.1 -10.2%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $258.0 1.6%
Honolulu, HI $625.3 0.9%
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, TX $150.3 1.1%
Indianapolis, IN $114.0 -2.6%
Jackson, MS $120.9 -16.8%
Jacksonville, FL $177.6 -1.6%
Kankakee-Bradley, IL $124.4 -1.0%
Kansas City, MO-KS $148.2 -3.2%
Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, WA $172.4 14.0%
Kingston, NY $246.1 1.2%
Knoxville, TN $155.0 0.9%
Lansing-E.Lansing, MI $109.6 -18.8%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV $273.5 -12.8%
Lexington-Fayette,KY $142.9 -2.3%
Lincoln, NE $138.1 0.3%
Little Rock-N. Little Rock, AR $127.5 1.3%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $509.7 -13.1%
Louisville, KY-IN $133.0 -3.3%
Madison, WI $227.7 1.0%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $124.3 -12.4%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL $345.9 -5.7%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $219.5 4.1%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $217.2 -4.9%
Mobile, AL $137.4 0.1%
Montgomery, AL $143.4 2.7%
New Haven-Milford, CT $268.8 -3.6%
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA $158.2 -2.4%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA $457.4 -1.1%
New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ $523.3 3.6%
NY: Edison, NJ $370.3 0.5%
NY: Nassau-Suffolk, NY $461.7 -2.5%
NY: Newark-Union, NJ-PA $435.8 5.3%
Norwich-New London, CT $252.4 -2.2%
Ocala, FL $155.1 -9.1%
Oklahoma City, OK $133.8 8.2%
Omaha, NE-IA $135.7 -0.4%
Orlando, FL $240.4 -11.7%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL $151.3 -13.0%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL $156.4 -3.1%
Peoria, IL $118.5 8.8%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $226.8 1.1%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $241.7 -7.8%
Pittsburgh, PA $116.9 4.2%
Pittsfield, MA $202.6 -8.2%
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME $242.1 -1.3%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA $290.5 1.8%
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA $273.2 -6.2%
Raleigh-Cary, NC $235.6 4.0%
Reading, PA $153.6 7.3%
Reno-Sparks, NV $301.3 -9.4%
Richmond, VA $225.7 -1.6%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $338.0 -16.8%
Rochester, NY $120.8 8.4%
Rockford, IL $113.2 -6.8%
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA $297.6 -18.5%
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI $74.9 N/A
Saint Louis, MO-IL $133.5 -7.0%
Salem, OR $231.2 3.6%
Salt Lake City, UT $229.1 2.5%
San Antonio, TX $151.7 7.9%
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $522.9 -9.8%
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA $777.3 5.5%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $845.3 11.2%
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, FL $274.1 -9.0%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $377.5 1.2%
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA $135.4 3.6%
Sioux Falls, SD $142.4 6.5%
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN $86.3 -3.9%
Spartanburg, SC $121.8 0.4%
Spokane, WA $194.1 2.6%
Springfield, IL $108.6 14.4%
Springfield, MA $206.4 3.5%
Springfield, MO $120.7 0.9%
Syracuse, NY $126.3 9.4%
Tallahassee, FL $180.9 -2.4%
Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $201.6 -12.2%
Toledo, OH $104.0 -0.8%
Topeka, KS $112.3 11.1%
Trenton-Ewing, NJ $306.8 6.2%
Tucson, AZ $235.8 -1.5%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $236.0 0.3%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $400.1 -5.1%
Waterloo/Cedar Falls, IA $115.4 12.1%
Wichita, KS $113.8 0.4%
Worcester, MA $259.0 -5.7%
Yakima, WA $170.6 18.0%
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA $72.6 -9.3%
U.S. $206.2 -5.8%
NE $261.7 -4.8%
MW $156.3 -3.2%
SO $171.7 -5.4%
WE $324.1 -8.7%
Metro Area Median Price
4Q 2007 (in thousands)
% Change
(1-yr)
Albuquerque, NM $146.3 5.7%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA $141.1 -12.0%
Austin-Round Rock, TX $173.2 7.6%
Baltimore-Towson, MD $235.5 0.3%
Bismarck, ND $125.0 20.8%
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH $296.9 2.4%
Boulder, CO $212.7 -0.9%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $260.1 3.8%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL $202.3 -26.0%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL $236.3 6.4%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN $125.6 3.0%
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH $120.0 -5.3%
Colorado Springs, CO $144.6 -3.3%
Columbus, OH $131.9 5.8%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $131.0 4.9%
Greensboro-High Point, NC $116.7 -2.0%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $180.5 5.6%
Honolulu, HI $320.0 2.1%
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, TX $135.5 5.7%
Indianapolis, IN $116.7 -3.5%
Jacksonville, FL $142.7 -7.0%
Knoxville, TN $160.8 10.6%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV $178.5 -10.3%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $363.1 -9.7%
Louisville, KY-IN $125.5 -4.2%
Madison, WI $179.6 -3.2%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL $194.3 -6.0%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $172.1 2.9%
New Haven-Milford, CT $180.9 1.9%
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA $173.3 17.8%
Norwich-New London, CT $182.7 -2.7%
New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJ $310.9 -2.9%
NY: Newark-Union, NJ-PA $315.1 -0.8%
NY:Edison, NJ $271.8 -5.5%
NY:Nassau-Suffolk, NY $249.2 0.2%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL $124.7 1.0%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $190.8 1.0%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $183.1 3.7%
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME $201.2 -2.5%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA $207.3 10.6%
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA $222.3 3.6%
Reno-Sparks, NV $186.9 -5.2%
Richmond, VA $187.8 4.3%
Rochester, NY $122.7 1.8%
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA $214.3 -8.7%
Salt Lake City, UT $163.3 8.8%
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $327.0 -8.7%
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA $595.7 2.7%
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, FL $272.2 -4.1%
Springfield, MA $153.0 -4.6%
Syracuse, NY $126.9 -5.9%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $171.4 0.8%
Toledo, OH $138.2 -4.0%
Trenton-Ewing, NJ $244.2 2.5%
Tucson, AZ $128.0 -19.8%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $175.4 0.3%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $288.1 0.1%
Wichita, KS $109.9 7.1%
Worcester, MA $212.9 6.7%
U.S. $221.1 0.0%
NE $249.0 -1.2%
MW $193.6 -1.0%
SO $180.2 1.0%
WE $250.4 -2.8%
Metro Area Total Sales
(in thousands)
% Change
(1-yr)
ALABAMA 102.0 -14.4%
ALASKA 25.2 -7.4%
ARIZONA 80.8 -37.5%
ARKANSAS 76.0 -5.5%
CALIFORNIA 305.2 -29.8%
COLORADO 109.2 -2.8%
CONNECTICUT 51.6 -21.8%
DELAWARE 13.2 -19.5%
District of Columbia 8.0 -4.8%
FLORIDA 239.6 -29.0%
GEORGIA 185.6 -23.8%
HAWAII 23.2 -14.7%
IDAHO 39.5 N/A
ILLINOIS 212.0 -20.5%
INDIANA 131.6 N/A
IOWA 58.8 -16.9%
KANSAS 66.8 -9.2%
KENTUCKY 84.8 -14.2%
LOUISIANA 65.6 -23.0%
MAINE 22.4 -17.6%
MARYLAND 67.6 -33.5%
MASSACHUSETTS 108.4 -10.3%
MICHIGAN 175.2 -2.7%
MINNESOTA 87.6 -15.8%
MISSISSIPPI 58.0 -8.2%
MISSOURI 106.0 -16.4%
MONTANA 21.2 -14.5%
NEBRASKA 30.0 -17.6%
NEVADA 34.4 -44.2%
NEW JERSEY 128.4 -9.1%
NEW MEXICO 33.6 -38.7%
NEW YORK 275.6 -8.7%
NORTH CAROLINA 185.6 -17.7%
NORTH DAKOTA 14.4 Unch
OHIO 234.0 -10.1%
OKLAHOMA 96.8 -6.2%
OREGON 52.0 -38.4%
PENNSYLVANIA 198.0 -13.5%
RHODE ISLAND 13.2 -17.5%
SOUTH CAROLINA 88.0 -14.1%
SOUTH DAKOTA 19.6 8.9%
TENNESSEE 137.2 -14.5%
TEXAS 514.4 -10.2%
UTAH 34.4 -33.8%
VERMONT 12.8 -13.5%
VIRGINIA 100.4 -20.1%
WASHINGTON 115.2 -16.0%
WEST VIRGINIA 27.2 -6.8%
WISCONSIN 95.6 -16.1%
WYOMING 7.6 -42.4%
United States 4,957 -20.9%
Northeast 867 -18.2%
Midwest 1,173 -18.1%
South 1,997 -19.9%
West 923 -27.7%
Source: *All areas are metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) as defined by the US Office of Management and Budget as of 2004.
** Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH - Data from New Hampshire not available
They include the named central city and surrounding areas. N/A Not Available p Preliminary r Revised
© 2008 National Association of REALTORS®


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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.