The National Association of realtors said on Tuesday that home prices dropped in 134 out of 152 metro areas on a year-over-year basis during the first quarter of this year.

The national median price for an existing single-family home was $169,000, some 13.8 percent below the price in the first quarter of 2008. The median is the half-way point, with half the prices above and half below this level.

The realtors' lobby group said foreclosures and short sales were keeping prices down.

Many buyers sought deeply discounted distressed sales -- foreclosures and short sales -- which accounted for nearly half of transactions in the first quarter and weighed down median prices in most markets, the realtors said.

Total existing sales, including single-family homes and condominiums, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million during the first quarter, 6.8 percent below the 4.93-million-unit rate reported in the first quarter of 2008.