Housing prices slipped in the fourth quarter,
dipping below prior year levels. Median sales
price was $339,000 in the fourth quarter, 4.8%
below $356,050 in the same period last year.
Average sales price showed a similar trend,
declining 5.1% over the same period to $412,060
from $434,424 in the prior year quarter.
The number of sales for the quarter totaled
4,222, essentially unchanged from the 4,252
total of the same quarter last year. However,
pending sales declined 7% to 4,134 from 4,447
over the same period. Listing inventory slipped
1.6% over the year to 18,447 from 18,742 in the
prior year quarter. During the fall, housing market
participants were confronted with a series
of economic woes, such as financial market
volatility after the S&P rating agency downgraded
US debt last August, and the financial crisis in
Europe. As a result, they appeared to press the
“pause” button, taking longer to make decisions
and waiting until more time had passed before
returning to the market.