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Home prices decline in some of the costliest markets in the US

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Home prices slipped in some of the costliest US markets in the second quarter, a sign that would-be buyers are sitting out the competition for a scarcity of affordable properties.

[NEW YORK] Home prices slipped in some of the costliest US markets in the second quarter, a sign that would-be buyers are sitting out the competition for a scarcity of affordable properties.

The median price for a previously owned single-family house increased 4.3 per cent from a year earlier to US$279,600, the National Association of Realtors said in a report Wednesday. Prices climbed in 162 of 178 metropolitan areas measured. The high-cost regions of San Jose, San Francisco and Honolulu were among those where prices fell.

Americans are showing some resistance to overpaying for homes after years of price increases that have outpaced incomes. The supply of lower-end properties remains tight in many areas, keeping people who want to buy on the sidelines. In some of the costliest markets, sellers are having to cut prices to reach a deal.

"Housing unaffordability will hinder sales irrespective of the local job market conditions," Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group, said in the report. "This is evident in the very expensive markets as home prices are either topping off or slightly falling."

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