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Will 2012 mark a recovery?

By Judy Martel ·
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

In a show of seller optimism, median asking prices for homes in March rose 5.6 percent from where they were in 2010, to $188,000 nationwide.

A report by also points to dropping inventories as a positive sign for the housing market. In March, there were 21.5 percent fewer homes listed for sale than a year ago. Median time spent on the market also fell to 89 days, a 19.8 percent reduction from March 2010.

"If the market continues to hold its own, 2012 could confirm the beginning of a broad-based housing recovery" the report states.

Regionally, five of the 10 markets with the highest year-over-year increase in asking price were in Florida. Phoenix ranked the highest, with a 23.4-percent increase in asking price from a year ago. Miami was second, with a 22.2-percent increase. Other markets in the top 10 include Washington, D.C., and Boise, Idaho. Although the report suggests that the rise in asking price in hard-hit Florida could mean it's on the mend, there is a large shadow inventory of pending foreclosures that could hamper a recovery.

Other areas hard-hit by the housing crash, including California and Las Vegas, are continuing to see declines in asking prices. But in a more surprising twist, markets that never experienced the steep rise in prices during the bubble are experiencing the largest downturns. These include industrialized markets that are feeling the brunt of the economic downturn, the report says. Asking prices in Chicago dropped 9.48 percent from last year, and asking prices in Knoxville, Tenn., fell by 5.4 percent.

Are you planning to list your home for sale this spring, or wait to see what next year brings?

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