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

Finally: Some not-terrible news on home prices

According to a couple of private research reports out this morning, home prices stabilized this year, after doing nothing but go down since their 2006 peak.

During all of 2008, the entire U.S. housing market lost $3.6 trillion in value, according to Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

Through the first 11 months of this year, the U.S. housing market lost only $489 billion. Yes, I know. "Only." Still, compared with last year, that's a statistical stabilization.

Also, about one-third of the real estate markets that Zillow tracks showed an actual gain in home prices. Boston showed the biggest gain.

The government's $8,000 first-time home-buyer credit (which has been extended and augmented through April 2010) helped goose the market, driving buyers in and driving prices up, especially on the low end. We haven't seen much movement in the prices of houses over $250,000.

Real estate site Trulia reports today that price reductions in the U.S. housing market have dropped. That means sellers don't have to slash their asking prices as much as they did over the past couple of years.

About 22 percent of houses on the market have had to cut their asking price at least once, Trulia reports. Now, this is short-term data: Trulia didn't start tracking price cuts until April of this year. Still, we'll take it.

Home prices peaked in the spring of 2006, and it's been straight to the basement since then.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 9, 2009; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Trulia, Zillow, home prices  
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Houses are getting more expensive again. You can now write more inflated mortgages and prices will keep going up. People are even flipping houses again. Double your money in a month. It's like the Sopranos or something.

Posted by: Dermitt | December 9, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

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