U.S. Home Prices Stabilize

Posted on December 16 By Francine Huff

Charleston, W.Va., had the biggest year-over-year rise in median home value in October, according to Zillow. The Zillow Home Value Index measures the median value of all homes in an area. New Orleans and Wilmington, Del., saw the next biggest price appreciation.

The list is comprised of cities with populations of more than 20,000. Other cities that made the top 10 include Amherst, N.Y., West Seneca, N.Y., Mequon, Wis., Rochester, N.Y., Cheektowaga, N.Y., Florence, S.C., and North Little Rock, Ark.

The cities showed improvement in home values this year as U.S. housing prices stabilized. U.S. home values lost $489 billion during the first 11 months of 2009, compared with a $3.6 trillion loss in 2008.

So what helped the housing market this year? Super low mortgage rates and the home buyer tax credit played a huge role. But challenges lie ahead for the U.S. housing market.

"Unfortunately, we believe that demand will come under downward pressure as mortgage rates creep back up after the first quarter and that housing supply will experience upward pressure as the volume of foreclosures continues to remain high. Both these factors will challenge the recent stabilization of home prices," Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, said in a statement.

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