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For those of us who live and work in Upstate NY, we know that more often than not, the news regarding Upstate is bad, rather than good. However, now and then there are some bright rays of sunshine. A recent national article from AOL discussed the decreasing property values nationwide and then paid tribute to the #1 and #2 cities in the US that defied this trend by recording the highest increase in property values for the first quarter of 2008. By now, you have probably guessed that Elmira fared well. Yes, Elmira was #2 and our Upstate neighbor to the East, Binghamton, NY was #1. Congrats to both communities. Here’s a link to the article and a link to the page about Elmira. The full story is copied below for your convenience.

Thanks for reading,

Jim Reed

Realtor Data Shows Prices Up Rising in One Third of Top Cities During First Quarter

Brett Widness, AOL Real Estate Editor

One out of three metropolitan areas in the United States showed rising home prices in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Gallery: See Which Markets Are Rising Near You

In the first quarter, 48 out of 149 metropolitan statistical areas showed higher median existing single-family home prices from a year earlier, 100 had price declines and one was unchanged. NAR’s track of metro area home prices dates back to 1979.

During the first quarter, the largest single-family home price increase was the Binghamton, N.Y., area, where the median price of $109,700 rose 11.8 percent from a year ago. Next was Peoria, Ill., at $119,000, up 10.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007, followed by the Spartanburg, S.C., area, where the first-quarter median price increased 10.1 percent to $130,300.

In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices — covering changes in 55 metro areas — showed the national median existing-condo price was $216,900 in the first quarter, down 3.0 percent from $223,700 in the first quarter of 2007. Twenty-three of the 55 markets showed annual increases in the median condo price, while 31 areas had price declines and one was unchanged.