The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rebounded 6.5 percent in December and that home prices continued to plunge.
The large number of foreclosures continue to pressure prices, chief economist Lawrence Yun noting that this is probably the largest price decline since the Great Depression.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $175,400 in December, which is 15.3 percent below December 2007 when the median was $207,000. There remains a significant downward distortion in the current median from a large number of distress sales at discounted prices, currently 45 percent of transactions; the median is where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. For all of 2008, the median price was $198,600, down 9.3 percent from $219,000 in 2007.
The odds are that the distortion is likely to persist for some time...