May 11 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices rose in 91 U.S. cities in the first quarter as states hard hit by foreclosures began to recover and a tax credit cut the number of properties for sale.
The median price of a single-family home sold in Saginaw, Michigan, doubled to $60,800, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors said in a report today. Prices in Akron, Ohio, climbed 90 percent to $95,300 and Grand Rapids, Michigan, recorded a 26 percent increase to $90,700. Nationally, the median declined 0.7 percent.
Cities with the most foreclosures a year earlier had the biggest price increases as a tax credit of as much as $8,000 boosted demand and drove the supply of unsold homes to a four- year low in January, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors’ group. Economists including Brian Bethune of IHS Global Insight say an improving job market should sustain the fledgling rebound in real estate.
“In the second half of the year, employment growth and an improving economic situation should keep the housing recovery on track,” Bethune said in a telephone interview from his Lexington, Massachusetts office.
Today’s report showed the recovery accelerating from the fourth quarter when 67 metropolitan areas reported a rise in the median price.http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-11/home-prices-gain-in-91-u-s-cities-in-first-quarter-update1-.html