First, the good news: Home prices in 73 of 150 areas are higher than a year ago.
The bad news? They’re down in 77 of the remaining areas.
The National Association of Realtors released today this information about the fourth quarter of 2007.
“The continuing crunch in the jumbo loan market that began in August has disproportionately reduced the number of transactions in higher price ranges,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Yun says median home prices are dropping because fewer high end homes are selling. Lenders issue jumbo loans for homes of at least $417,000.
The national median home price dropped to $206,200 from $219,000 a year earlier. The median price means that half of homes sold for more and half sold for less.
Bloomberg News reported that the area with the greatest decline was Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan, with 19 percent. Homes in Cumberland, Maryland, rose the most in the U.S., with a 19 percent jump.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s happened during the first quarter of this year.