Report: Real Estate Market Pulls Back from Recent Price Gains

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The October 2009 National Real Estate Market Report, published by real-time real estate data firm Altos Research, finds asking real estate prices declining in 21 of 26 metro markets. While lagging housing market indicators are just starting to report home price increases from the first half of the year, real-time data shows that by October prices have resumed two months of decline.

National housing market prices decline month-over-month. Prices were down each month in the third quarter.

Continuing job losses and high foreclosure rates combined with seasonal weakness will likely extend the trend through at least the end of the year.

While traditional sources for real estate market data are starting to report price increases for the first half of the year, the Altos Research 10-City Composite Price Index has resumed a month-over-month decline. The Altos Composite, which leads traditional housing market data by three to four months, showed seven months of increase in the first half of the year. Home prices as measured by the national real estate market composite decreased by 0.5% during September and 1.1% in the third quarter of 2009. Prices of properties listed for sale fell in 21 of 26 major markets, and rose in just 5 markets according to the Real-Time Housing Market Report, the premier source for real-time statistics on the real estate market.

The Housing Market Report is available for free download.

Listing prices rose at the fastest rate in the California markets of Los Angeles - up 1.5%- and San Jose - up 0.9%. Asking prices fell at the fastest rate in Phoenix with a decline of 3.7% during September and 7.0% for the most recent three-month period.

"After a strong first half of the year, housing prices have resumed a gradual downward trend," said Michael Simonsen co-founder and chief executive officer of Altos Research. "Continuing job losses and high foreclosure rates combined with seasonal weakness will likely extend the trend through at least the end of the year."

For the month of September, listed property inventory declined in 23 of 26 markets and was up in 3 markets. Inventory declined by 1.7% across the 10 markets composing the Altos Composite index during September and 4.2% during the third quarter. Inventory grew by the largest amount in San Diego - up 1.1% - and fell by the largest amounts in San Jose and Atlanta with drops of 5.4% and 4.5% respectively.

"The continued contraction of inventory across most major markets is in line with seasonal trends and should moderate future price declines," said Stephen Bedikian, partner and research director for Real IQ. "A sudden increase in mortgage rates along with the November expiration of the federal government's $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit could change that if demand drops sharply and inventory swells."

During September all markets except San Francisco had a median days-on-market of 100 or more. By far, the market with the slowest rate of inventory turnover was again Miami, now at a median of 251 days-on-market or more than eight months. San Francisco experienced the fastest rate of inventory turnover with a median days-on-market of 88.

Data in the Real-Time Housing Market Report is based on analysis of over one million properties currently listed for-sale in 26 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, DC. The first report was published December 7, 2007 and is released every month.

About Altos Research
Altos Research LLC pioneered real-time real estate research. Founded in 2005, the company's information products serve investors, traders, and thousands of real estate professionals. Because real estate data is traditionally obscure and highly latent, Altos built the Real-Time Market Intelligence(TM) platform to monitor dozens of housing market statistics as they are right now in local markets across the country. The company publishes real estate statistics for thousands of local markets around the country.

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