The median price for a used home rose slightly in the second quarter from the first quarter, a favorable sign for the housing market.

The national median existing single-family price was $174,100, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

While 15.6% below the second quarter of 2008, the price was higher than the first quarter's $169,300. The price data is not seasonally adjusted.

Falling prices help make homes more affordable, but a steady decline in price tends to hinder home sales, as would-be buyers put off a purchase in hopes of getting a better deal.

The Realtors' report said 129 of 155 metropolitan areas reported lower median existing single-family home prices in the second quarter compared with a year earlier. Twenty-six posted price gains.

Total sales of existing homes rose 3.8% from the first quarter, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million. The sales level was 2.9% below the pace of last year's second quarter.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.