149 markets tracked for the fourth quarter of 2006
The slump in home prices was both deeper and more widespread than ever before in the fourth quarter. As part of its quarterly survey, the National Association of Realtors reported a 2.7 percent decline in prices in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of a year earlier. That's the biggest year-over-year drop on record.
In addition, 73 markets of 149 tracked reported a decline in prices. That decline was far more widespread than in the third quarter, when only 45 markets reported drops. Our market (Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area) actually posted a gain of 0.9%, from an average sales price of $265,600 in the 4th Qtr. 2005 to $268,100 in the 4th Qtr. 2006. Home shoppers (you noticed I didn't say "homebuyers") have started to come out after a long, cold February, but there is plenty of leftover winter inventory and there is no impending hurry to buy, so it seems.
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