The median price of a U.S. home declined 9 percent from a year earlier and sales of properties with mortgages in default accounted for at least a third of all transactions, the Chicago- based National Association of Realtors said today. Prices fell in 120 U.S. metropolitan areas, rose in 28 and were unchanged in four, the biggest share of declines in data going back to 1979.

Interesting how small-townish areas left out of the bubble are now getting the strong bid, as some folks cash out and move:

Elmira, New York, had the biggest price increase in the U.S., with a 13 percent gain to $105,000, according to the report. Decatur, Illinois, rose 8.7 percent to $93,400, and the median price in Bloomington, Illinois, grew 8.1 percent to $168,400.

And of course, it is now being acknowledged that foreclosures are "becoming the market", as no one (including the government) has made a meaningful attempt to ameliorate them:

The root cause of the surge in home repossessions is the government’s “failure to deal effectively with unaffordable loans and unnecessary foreclosures,” Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said in testimony today to the House Financial Services Committee in Washington.

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