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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Realtors: Distressed Properties Accounted for 45% of Late-2008 Sales

Prices of single-family homes plunged a record 12.4 percent in the last three months of 2008 to the lowest level since 2003, the National Association of Realtors said this afternoon.

Nearly half of all sales last quarter -- an eye-popping 45 percent -- came from distressed properties, which include foreclosures, as bargain hunters snapped up empty houses on the cheap.

The median price of a single-family house now stands at $180,100, the group said. It's the lowest figure since mid-2003, when it stood at $177,900.

What does this mean? Possibly that prices are coming back down to pre-bubble prices, and that would be a good thing.

The biggest sales gain in the fourth quarter came in Nevada, up 133.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007, because Las Vegas was probably the most overbuilt of all U.S. cities during the housing bubble.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 12, 2009; 2:21 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Realtors, home prices, housing bubble, housing crisis  
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