Home values still falling in U.S.
Median prices for resale homes and condos nationwide slipped to $183,000 last month, down 11% from October 2007, the National Assn. of Realtors reports today.
The real estate brokers and agents' group blamed foreclosures and distressed properties for what it calls a "significant downward distortion" of prices.
Nationwide sales also declined 3.3% in October from the previous month, and were the same as October, 2007. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said "Many home buyers appear to have withdrawn from the market due to the stock market collapse and deteriorating economic conditions."
October's sales were an about-face from September, when year-over-year sales as well as August-to-September sales had increased. Yun said last month those figures showed "buyers who've been on the sidelines want to get into the market."
Sales were up in the West, however, primed by discounted foreclosures. October sales in the West were 38% greater than a year ago.
So to apply Yun's metaphor, they're surely coming off the sidelines in the West. But it's more like the third-string getting into the action amid a rout: The median price in the West in October was down 27% from a year ago, to $231,400.
-- Peter Y. Hong