Editor’s Note: This item is republished with permission from Inman News. View the original article, "Top 10 metros for median price gains."

Median home prices for single-family homes posted year-over-year gains in 110 out of 147 markets tracked by the National Association of Realtors during the second quarter, compared with 74 markets that saw annual appreciation during the first quarter.

Some of the improvement in prices is due to a smaller share of sales in low price ranges where inventory is tight, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

But Yun predicted even more markets would post gains in the quarters ahead, which will improve the equity position of existing homeowners, many of whom owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth.

At the national level, the median sale price of existing single-family homes during the second quarter was up 7.3 percent from a year ago, to $181,500. That's the biggest annual increase in six years, but still left the national median home price down 20.1% from the 2006 peak.

Nearly 1 in 4 markets tracked by NAR (34) saw annual price declines. Seven of the 10 markets experiencing the biggest declines were in the Northeast.

The Northeast region saw median home prices fall 1.6 percent from a year ago, to $241,300.

Top 10 Markets for Median Price Declines

Among markets seeing the strongest annual price appreciation, many experienced sharp declines at the beginning of the downturn, including Detroit, Phoenix, and Fort Myers, Fla. In all but one of the 10 markets showing the biggest year-over-year gains, the median sales price was well below the national median.

Top 10 Markets for Median Price Gains

Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condos, were down 0.7% from the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.54 million, with distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) accounting for 26% of transactions, down from 33% a year ago.

NAR estimates that first-time buyers, who historically have accounted for 40% of home purchases, purchased 34% of all homes in the second quarter, up from 33% during the first quarter but down from 35% a year ago.

Investors, who often pay cash and compete with first-time buyers, accounted for 19% of all purchases in the second quarter, down from 22% in the first quarter but about the same as a year ago. Some 29% of sales were "all cash," down from 32% in the first quarter and 30% a year ago.

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Learn more about markets featured in this article: Bridgeport, CT, Gulfport, MS, Elmira, NY, Atlantic City, NJ, Pittsfield, MA, Charleston, WV, Green Bay, WI, Manchester, NH, Hartford, CT, Detroit, MI, Phoenix, AZ, Boise City, ID, Florence, SC, Akron, OH, Buffalo, NY, Bismarck, ND, Cumberland, MD, Cape Coral, FL, Peoria, IL.