Home values: Median prices in 12 cities

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Jacksonville, Fla.

This contemporary ranch, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, was built in 2004. “It’s a cute house,” says Cris Garrard, Realtor with Benham Real Estate Group. It has hardwood floors and an open floor plan. The living room/dining room area has a vaulted ceiling, oversized windows, and is adjacent to the kitchen, which has a breakfast bar, hardwood cabinets, white appliances, hardwood floors and a pantry. “It’s a nice open area, very good for entertaining,” he says. The master bedroom has a ceiling fan, carpet and master bath with shower. Secondary bedrooms are also carpeted and each has a ceiling fan. The home has a two-car garage and a deck.

Price: $144,900

Area median price: $145,700 (down 17 percent)

  • 3 bedrooms/2 baths
  • 1,306 square feet
  • 1/4 acre lot
  • Hardwood floors
  • Deck
  • Two-car garage

Price trend:
In Jacksonville, the median price range will get buyers into a newer home with 1,500 square feet, says Garrard. And, in a lot of areas that also means good proximity to shopping and amenities. “But Jacksonville is very diverse,” he says. “You could find some older neighborhoods where you could find a 2,000-square-foot home with a pool,” he says. “But those may need some updates or upgrades.”

In the fall of 2008, the median home price in Jacksonville was $175,600, according to the National Association of Realtors. For the same period in 2009, it was $145,700.

So buyers in the $144,000 to $147,000 range are getting “more for the money” this year,” says Garrard. While the economy, foreclosures and short sales have brought Jacksonville home prices down in the past year, the effect hasn’t been limited to specific areas or ZIP codes, he says. “It’s felt throughout” the area.

This year, that same money is buying homes that are a little newer, with finishes and materials a step above what they would have been able to afford last year, Garrard says.