First Quarter Home Sales Up From a Year Ago in many Metro Areas Including St. Louis

Dennis Norman

According to a report issued by the National Association of REALTORS, a growing number of metropolitan areas are experiencing price gains from a year ago, while most states have seen healthy gains in home sales from the first quarter of 2009.

Here in St. Louis, the median home price for first quarter was $116,100, a 15.1 percent increase from a year ago when the median price was $100,900, however an 8.4 percent decrease from the 4th quarter of 2009 when the median home price for the St. Louis area was $126,800.  State-wide, the median home price in Missouri for first quarter was $100,800, an increase of 4.6 percent from a year ago when the median price for Missouri was $96,400, but a 17.9 percent decline from the 4th quarter of 2009 when the median home price was $122,800.

Highlights from the Metro report for the first quarter of 2010:

  • 91 out of 152 metropolitan areas showed higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the first quarter of 2009, including 29 with double-digit increases; three were unchanged and 58 metros had price declines.
    • In the fourth quarter of 2009,  67 areas reported gains and 123 were down, while only 30 metro areas in third quarter of 2009 showed annual price increases.
  • The national median existing single-family price was fairly flat at $166,100, down 0.7 percent from the first quarter 2009 price of $167,300. The median is where half sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed homes, which typically are discounted by 15 percent relative to traditional homes, accounted for 36 percent of first quarter sales.

To see the complete report for all metro areas click here.

Highlights from the State report for the first quarter of 2010:

  • Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million in the first quarter, down 14.0 percent from 5.97 million in the fourth quarter, 2009.  However, first quarter sales remain 11.4 percent above the 4.61 million-unit level in the first quarter of 2009.
  • Sales increased from a year ago in 44 states and the District of Columbia; 31 states and D.C. saw double-digit gains while two were unchanged and four were down.

To see the complete report for all states click here.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said stabilizing home prices are encouraging. “This flattening in home prices is something we’ve been seeing in all of the home price measures lately, and quite clearly in this metro area price report,” he said. “The tax credit has been very effective in drawing down excess inventory, with about one million additional sales resulting directly from the stimulus.”

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