Existing home prices down, but not as far as last month

April 5, 2010

Taken from the AJC

Home prices across metro Atlanta fell in February, but not as far as they did the month before, which is a good sign, experts say.

Median sale prices for existing single-family homes fell 4 percent in February to $110,100, when compared to the year before, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Tuesday. That decline is also an improvement on the 10 percent year-over-year drop prices seen in January.

January’s numbers left real estate insiders wondering how the rest of the year would play out. February’s data looks stronger, but still doesn’t imply recovery, said Hank Miller, a Prudential Georgia Realty broker and certified appraiser.

“The jury is still out in my mind,” Miller said. “I’m hopeful that we’re shaking off this little slump, so I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Of the top 20 metro areas surveyed by the Realtor’s association, Atlanta is one of six that did not see year-over-year price improvement. Other declining areas include Baltimore, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Portland, Ore., San Antonio and Kansas City, according to the report.

Even though Atlanta didn’t see improvement in February, gains may not be far behind, said Cameron Findlay, chief economist for LendingTree.com.

“I think the Atlanta market is going to see some improvement from here,” he said.

Across the country, existing single-family home sales increased 4 percent but price declined 2 percent from February 2009, according to the NAR.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 7 percent above a year ago, but the median price, $139,600, was down 4.2 percent from February 2009, according to the release.

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