The Buffalo Niagara region topped the Northeast with a 4.8 percent median price gain in the third quarter as the U.S. housing market showed some signs of recovery.
Buffalo was one of 30 metropolitan areas out of 153 to experience a price gain while 123 - including fellow Upstate New York cities Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and Albany all declined in the same period compared to 2008.
The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that most states continued to experience rising existing-home sales in the third quarter, with prices moderating in many metro areas.
The median price for a home in the Buffalo area increased to $119,700 in the quarter, up from $114,200 a year ago. That figure is up 22.2 percent from $97,900 in 2006.
Year-over-year prices in Rochester dipped 1.7 percent to $121,500 from $123,600. Syracuse was off 1.6 percent to $125,200 from $127,300. Median prices in the Binghamton metro dropped 1.1 percent to $114,200 from $115,500 while Albany had the largest decline at 4.9 percent to $195,400 from $205,500.
The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast declined 9.4 percent to $244,500 in the third quarter from the same quarter in 2008.
The national median existing single-family price was $177,900, which is 11.2 percent below the third quarter of 2008 NAR said the national tax credit has provided a boost to the struggling industry.
"We can't underestimate just how powerful a catalyst the first-time home buyer tax credit has been for the housing sector," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "It's given buyers the confidence they needed to get off the fence and take advantage of extremely affordable housing conditions. The buying conditions this year are the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but the tax credit is allowing buyers to set aside any reservations about waiting for a better deal."
The trade group said third-quarter metro area single-family home prices ranged from $61,400 in the Saginaw, Mich. market to $566,000 in the San Jose area of California.