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Most Metro Area Homes See Price Gains Since Last Year






Most Metro Areas See Price Gains Since Last Year

The trend in firming home prices solidified in the second quarter with more metropolitan areas showing increases from a year ago, aided by a surge in home sales driven by the home buyer tax credit, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors


With distressed homes accounting for a smaller proportion of sales nationwide, median prices for existing homes were up from a year ago in nearly two-thirds of the 155 metro markets tracked by the National Association of Realtors during the second quarter.

The national median price in the second quarter was $176,900, up from $174,200 in the same quarter last year and up from $166,400 in the January-to-March period.


The median price is the midpoint, which means half of the homes sold for more and half for less. It typically falls in the winter and rises in the summer months. That's because families with children traditionally move during the summer and buy larger homes.


Although some economists expect to see some softness in home prices in some markets during the second half of the year, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun today restated his conviction that the correction in home prices appears to have ended in 2009.


"Prices in some areas remain below replacement construction costs, so even with an elevated supply of existing homes on the market we don't expect any consequential movement in home prices for the foreseeable future," Yun said in a statement. "Very low inventory of newly built homes also will help to support home values."


NAR's survey of existing-home prices showed increases in 100 of 155 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked -- including double-digit increases in 14 markets. Among the 53 metros registering price drops, five experienced double-digit declines.


The largest price gain was in Akron, Ohio. Prices there were up 36% from a year ago. The San Francisco and San Jose areas, which have mounted a strong rebound from the housing bust, also saw prices rebound by about 25%. Prices in the Riverside, Calif. metro area were up 18% from a year ago.


The biggest price drops were in Cumberland, Md., Tucson, Ocala, Fla. and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas. Prices in all of those cities were down at least 13% from last year. Yun cautioned against reading too much into those numbers, because the median price is influenced by the mix of homes sold, and does not reflect pure appreciation or depreciation.


Sale prices in many markets last year were depressed because a large percentage of distressed homes sold at discount, Yun said. As sales of nondistressed homes make up an increasingly larger part of the mix, the median price in many areas is showing higher values, Yun said.


The top 20 appreciating markets, with second-quarter median home price and year-over-year change, were:

Metro area

Q2 2010


Akron, OH



San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA



San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA



Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA



Elmira, NY



Lansing-E,Lansing, MI



San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA



Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL



Erie, PA



Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL



Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH



Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ



Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT



Gary-Hammond, IN



Canton-Massillon, OH



Columbus, OH



Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA



Ft, Wayne, IN



Honolulu, HI




The top 20 declining markets, with second-quarter median home price and year-over-year change, were:

Metro area

Q2 2010


Cumberland, MD-WV



Tucson, AZ



Ocala, FL



Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX



Boise City-Nampa, ID



Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV



Jacksonville, FL



Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL



Salem, OR



Gulfport-Biloxi, MS



Farmington, NM



Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA



Reno-Sparks, NV



Orlando, FL



Binghamton, NY



Springfield, MO



Greensboro-High Point, NC



Green Bay, WI



Yakima, WA




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