10 best and worst housing markets of the first quarter

The National Association of Realtors have released its city by city data for the first quarter. The bad news is that only 18 of the 150 markets surveyed showed appreciation year over year.

But which markets did the best overall?

The Cumberland, Md., metro area was the strongest market overall, with prices up more than 20% year over year. Most of the other markets showing strength were in the Midwest (Davenport, Iowa, and Columbia, Mo.), Upstate New York, and Texas/Oklahoma.

Salt Lake City was one of the stronger markets out West, up 1.9% year over year, but didn't quite make the Top 10 below.

Metropolitan Area (Single Family)
Median Home Price
Cumberland, MD-WV114.921.1%
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL100.313.8%
Columbia, MO152.66.0%
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX129.15.0%
Oklahoma City, OK129.94.0%
Springfield, IL111.43.9%
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA136.03.4%
Syracuse, NY113.73.1%
Topeka, KS106.53.1%
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY99.22.7%
Charleston, WV119.22.1%
U.S. Average169.0-13.8%

The weakest market overall was Cape Coral, Fla., but you also saw several markets in California with prices down more than 30% year over year.

Metropolitan Area (Condos)
Median Home Price
% Change
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL87.3-59.1%
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI30.3-53.7%
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA402.0-42.7%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA450.0-42.3%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ129.2-41.9%
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, FL155.2-40.8%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA172.5-39.9%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV155.3-37.3%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL206.0-35.4%
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA169.3-34.5%

By no means does this mean that homes aren't selling in these markets, but most home owners are going to think twice about selling if they think they will have to mark their home down by 10 to 15% of what they paid.

In Saginaw, the median home price has dropped to $30,300 for a single-family home. By comparison, the median is still over $400,000 in San Francisco and San Jose.

While parts of the country are debating how they can provide affordable housing, here you have a city where home prices are less than what the average person makes in a year, or what they might pay for a car.

We'll see if prices bounce back if and when the auto industry sorts itself out, but that may take years.
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