10 years...no gain in home prices

By Les Christie, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Taking into account inflation, home prices are actually lower than they were 10 years ago, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors released Wednesday.

The median home price in November 1999 was $137,600, NAR said, and by November 2009 it had risen 25% to $172,600. But with cumulative effect of inflation, prices are actually 3% lower in real terms.

The good news is that wages have risen in the past 10 years, so homes are now affordable than they had been, especially at the height of the boom in the middle of this decade, said Walter Molony, a spokesman for the Realtors.

The median home price peaked in June of 2006 at $231,000. (See how much you gained on your home.)

There have been other changes in the workings of the housing market over the past 10 years: More house hunting is now done online, a greater percentage of the homes purchased are in the suburbs and more multi-family home units -- condos, townhouses and coops -- are being bought.

There has also been an increase in the number of single folks buying homes on their own. Back in 1999, single men accounted for 9% of all home sales and single women 18%. It was families who formed the big majority of buyers, 66%, with unmarried couple at 6%.

Today, the number of single men buyers is up a point to 10% while single women are quite a bit more active in the market, making 21% of all purchases in 2009. The market share of families dropped to 60% and unmarried couple purchased 8% of all homes sold. To top of page


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