According to a report released this week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median single-family house price in the United States fell to $220,800, which is down two percent from a year ago, despite prices increasing in 93 out of 150 metropolitan areas from a year earlier.

"Some metro areas are hot while others are experiencing localized problems," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "The report also shows that home prices in the vast midsection of America, from the Appalachians to the Rockies, are affordable and, perhaps, even undervalued."

"This quarterly metro home price report is the most meaningful long-term series available on price performance because it looks at all of the available transactions in a given area," Yun continued. "Unlike other home price series that are based on county records and mortgage securities, which are collected well after the actual transaction date, NAR has the most timely information directly from multiple listing services. We also report actual market prices rather than just the percentage changes so people can compare housing values around the country."

The Palm Bay/Melbourne, Fla. market recorded the steepest loss as prices dipped 12.4 percent to $182,400. Sacramento, Calif. saw a decline of 10.5 percent to $335,700.

The largest price increase occurred in Bismarck, North Dakota (up 15.1 percent) and was followed by Salt Lake City (up 14.1 percent), and Yakima, Washington (up 13.6 percent).

Regionally, the Northeast median home price rose 3.2 percent to $286,300. In the Midwest, the median price was up 0.5 percent to $170,800. Prices in the South fell 3.6 percent to $180,800, and dropped in the West 3.8 percent to $338,100.

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