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Median home prices up for 3Q in half of U.S.; see city list11 Nov

EW YORK (AP) — Home prices edged up in half of U.S. cities in the third quarter as the weak economy dulled buyer interest.

The National Association of Realtors says the median sales price for previously occupied homes rose compared with last year in 77 out of 155 metropolitan areas tracked in the July-to-September quarter. That compares with 100 out of 155 cities in the April-to-June quarter. Eleven cities had double-digit price increases.

Most experts believe these gains will fade as the economic recovery weakens. They expect prices to turn downward.

The national median price in the third quarter was $177,900, down from $178,200 in the same quarter last year and up from $176,800 in the second quarter.

The modest rise was announced as rates on fixed mortgages, which have been low for months, dropped to their lowest levels in decades this week after the Federal Reserve unveiled a massive bond-buying program to help spur economic growth.

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