WASHINGTON - Home prices fell in a record four out of five U.S. cities in the third quarter as low-cost foreclosures flooded the market and the U.S. housing market's decline spread throughout the country.
Among 152 metropolitan areas included in the trade group's survey, 120 posted declines in median home sales prices compared with a year ago, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Nationally, sales fell by almost 8 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago.
Sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties made up around 40 percent of transactions in the quarter, bringing down the median price by 9 percent from a year ago to $200,500.
Sales fell in all but four states in the report. The exceptions were Nevada, California, Arizona and Virginia, where buyers have been able to snap up foreclosed homes at a bargain.
"A very large proportion of distressed home sales are taking place at discounted prices compared to more normal conditions a year ago," said Charles McMillan, the group's president, said.