Buyers spring for falling home prices

By Greg Sax on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Haichart The substantial corrective price declines first seen in January were further fleshed out in February, as the median sales price for the month of $195,060 is a decrease of 12.5 percent from the same month last year. There were 3,087 purchase agreements signed and 2,009 sales closed—down only 10.2 and 13.6 percent from last year, respectively. This is a lesser decline than seen in recent months.

The MAAR Housing Affordability Index (HAI) shot up eight points from last month to 157. That’s the healthiest HAI figure since 2003. Additionally, the number of homes for sale continues to post record levels despite a drop-off in new listing supply. At the end of February, there were 29,842 homes for sale, which amounts to 8.72 homes for each buyer expected during the upcoming month.

A note to those scouting the market for rock-bottom prices: The decline in median sales price is just as much a function of what kinds of properties are being sold as it is a slashing of listing prices. According to MAAR’s February Housing Supply Outlook, there recently has been a large increase in the sales of properties priced under $150,000, which does have the effect of skewing the overall median sales price downward. | READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE

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