Condo prices take a beating, but in a few markets, keep on ticking

For first-time buyers and investors, condominiums are often a way to get into a hot housing market, offering the potential for appreciation and/or rental income, without having to worry overly about a lot of maintenance costs, zoning and other issues. See the full report in Acrobat.

But the condo market has taken a beating over the past few years, in part due to overbuilding in places like Miami, but also because financing for condominiums can be more strict than single-family homes.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average condo lost 20% of its value from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. Of the roughly 60 markets surveyed by the NAR, only five showed appreciation year over year.