Home prices are in the process of registering their first year-on-year decline in two decades. That may be a relative statement given the huge runup in recent years, but is nevertheless worrisome to some market watchers.
The average price of an existing home was $221,900 in 2006, versus $122,600 in 1996 and $80,300 in 1986, according to the National Association of Realtors. Some of that is simple inflation, but a sizable part of it is good, old-fashioned price appreciation. In some markets, real estate has been on a tear for ten years.
But there's nothing like a housing slump to remind people just how local a a business real estate is. Prices are continuing to rise in some markets, which are playing catch up to the broad-based gains across the nation in recent years. Other markets are holding steady.
CNBC decided to take the pulse of half a dozen markets across the nation to see what a million dollars buys you and whether it is more or less than a year ago.