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Existing-Home Sales Up Again in January

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Existing-Home Sales Up Again in January
The uptrend in existing-home sales continues, with January sales rising for the third consecutive month with a pace that is now above levels a year ago, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.7 percent. This is the first time in seven months that sales activity was higher than a year earlier.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the improvement is good but could be better. “The uptrend in home sales is consistent with improvements in the economy and jobs, which are helping boost consumer confidence,” Yun said. “The extremely favorable housing affordability conditions are a big factor, but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit. As a result, there are abnormally high levels of all-cash purchases, along with rising investor activity.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $158,800 in January, down 3.7 percent from January 2010. Distressed homes edged up to a 37 percent market share in January from 36 percent in December; it was 38 percent in January 2010.

Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 5.1 percent to 3.38 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.2-month supply in December. The inventory supply is at the lowest level since December 2009 when there was a 7.3-month supply.

Regional Sales

South: In the South, existing-home sales increased 3.6 percent in January and are 8.0 percent higher than January 2010. The median price in the South was $136,600, down 2.1 percent from a year ago.

— NAR

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By: on February 23rd, 2011 Category: Uncategorized