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Despite declining sales, home prices showing stability

Home sales have dropped, but prices are level compared with last year.

Home sales have dropped, but prices are level compared with last year.

As home sales continued to be slow following the expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit, home prices have remained stable, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

The report says that during the third quarter of the year, half of major cities across the country - 77 - saw their median sales prices increase compared to last year. In the third quarter of 2009, just 30 cities saw home prices increase. That added degree of stability, according to analysts, is a sign that the market is turning around, but still provides opportunities for moving families.

"The great news for homebuyers in today's market is historically low mortgage interest rates and affordable home prices in much of the country, along with a great selection of properties," said new NAR president Ron Phipps.

Overall, year-to-date home sales have been relatively flat, with 3.79 million this year compared to 3.77 million in 2009.

However, despite the affordable conditions, fewer renters are moving into their own homes. According to a recent report from the Census Bureau, just 66.9 percent of Americans were homeowners. That mark is tied for the lowest level since 1999.