This charming old two family in Cambridge is $559,000. For further information: Trulia
Median home price: $327,000
1-Year change through 2010: -0.3%

The Boston metro area was one of the first to be caught up in the housing boom and prices and sales volume peaked there earlier than most of the country. As a mature area, with little space to expand, Boston tends to have higher prices than average and they have declined but not collapsed in the bust.

Since the end of the bull housing market, Greater Boston home prices have lost about 17% of their peak, a modest comedown compared with the national median of a 32% drop. Now the area seems poised for a comeback. bases that assessment on inventory stats for the area; listings have dropped this spring compared with last March. Demand is also healthy; the median time that a home has been on the market is about 130 days, according to Sellers are more optimistic, raising the median asking price for area listings 3% in March, month-over-month.

The area's unemployment rate was just 7.1% in March and fell a point compared with 12 months earlier' the housing market is well positioned to ride the economic recovery to better times.

Last updated May 19 2011: 10:02 AM ET
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