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Home Prices Continue Rising, Sales Steady

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home_prices_rising_house_graphRE/MAX Releases National Housing Report on 52 Metro Areas

Following historic seasonal trends, October home sales edged 2.8% lower than September, but still pushed 2.2% higher than sales in October 2012. Median home prices were 11.9% above prices seen last October, according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report released this week.

According to the report, October becomes the 21st month to experience year-over-year increases in both sales and prices. The median price of all homes sold in October was $179,950. Inventories of homes for sale were 12.2% lower than the levels in October last year. For the last 29 months in a row, inventories have declined at a slower rate.

“What we’re seeing now are predictable seasonal cycles, which is just another sign that the housing recovery is bringing us back to a more normal market,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX LLC. “Home sales are expected to slow down during the holidays and winter months before returning to the next growth cycle in the spring.”

The October inventory drop is half of the annual loss seen as recently as June, according to the RE/MAX report. At the current rate of sales, the number of months required to sell the entire inventory of homes on the market was 4.9. A 6-month supply is recognized as a balanced market with an equal number of buyers and sellers.

For the most part, normal seasonal trends are responsible for slowing month-to-month changes in home sales, the report stated. Home price increases can be tied directly to a low inventory and strong buyer demand. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in October, 45 experienced higher sales prices than one year ago. Of those, 19 metro areas reported double-digit increases.

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