Seventy-four housing markets across the nation saw median home prices increase in the first quarter of 2012, the National Association of Realtors said in a report released Wednesday, which is slightly more than half of all the markets it surveys. This is a significant improvement from the fourth quarter of 2011, when only 29 metros experienced gains, according to Bloomberg .
While the majority of individual markets experienced price increases, the overall national median price for single-family homes was down 0.4 percent year-over-year from 2011, sitting at $158,100.
Among individual metro areas, Cape Coral, Fla., had the biggest price jump at 28.1 percent. It was closely followed by Grand Rapids, Mich. (19 percent); Palm Bay, Fla. (16.9 percent); and Erie, Pa. (16.6 percent)
Some markets did experience price declines, however; Kingston, N.Y., was the greatest such example, with prices dropping 22 percent for the quarter. Other metros with significant declines were Stamford, Conn. (18 percent); Mobile, Ala. (14.7 percent); and Atlanta (12 percent).
NAR economists note the reduced number of distressed properties sold in the first quarter as a primary reason prices ticked up in so many markets. At the same time, sales of previously owned homes rose 5.3 percent. On a regional basis, the Midwest saw the greatest increase in sales at 11.7 percent.
To read the rest of the Bloomberg story, click here .