Home prices may be bottoming out

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The bleeding in the housing market seems to be stanched, at least temporarily, according to home price data released on Tuesday.
Most U.S. cities saw gains in the median prices of single-family homes sold during the three months ended Sept. 30, according to the National Association of Realtors' quarterly report on home prices. This is the second consecutive quarter of gains.
The national median home price was

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The bleeding in the housing market seems to be stanched, at least temporarily, according to home price data released on Tuesday.

Most U.S. cities saw gains in the median prices of single-family homes sold during the three months ended Sept. 30, according to the National Association of Realtors' quarterly report on home prices. This is the second consecutive quarter of gains.

The national median home price was 177,900 in the third quarter, up $7,000 from the previous quarter. However, that is still down more than 11% from the third quarter of 2008.

Sortable Table of Metro Home Prices

"The decline in the national median price has moderated recently," Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement.

"A shrinking supply of unsold inventory suggests we are getting closer to price stabilization in many areas, but we need a steady stream of financially qualified buyers to further reduce inventory and get us to a self-sustaining market," he added.

NAR attributed much of the increase in home prices to the government's first-time homebuyer tax credit, which has helped revive home sales from a deep slump.

"We can't underestimate just how powerful a catalyst the first-time homebuyer tax credit has been for the housing sector," Yun said.

While a glut of foreclosed properties will continue to weigh on prices in the months ahead, "rising sales from the expanded tax credit should stabilize home prices by next spring," Yun said.

Sortable Table of Metro Home Prices
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