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Home sales last month jumped 15.7% over year-ago figures — the second-highest year-over-year increase in 2012 after the 17.8% increase in October. November was the 17th consecutive month of higher year-over-year sales, according to the November RE/MAX National Housing Report.
The report collects data in 52 metropolitan areas. RE/MAX said 49 of the 52 reported higher sales than November 2011. The three metros reporting a decrease in sales were Las Vegas; Little Rock, Ark.; and Phoenix. There were 37 metros that claimed double-digit increases.
“2012 has been a great turn-around year for housing, with prices and sales moving beyond where we were last year,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.
Home prices rose 6.9% higher than last November. These numbers are unusually high for a typical fall season, due mostly to low housing inventory nationwide. The average number of homes for sale dropped 29.1% from last year, the 29th consecutive month-to-month drop.
Herb Tousley, director of the master of science real estate program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., believes the inventory shortage is temporary and should turn around in 2013.
"I think we're going to be living with these chronic shortages of inventory at least through the winter and into spring," Tousley told HousingWire. "As we go into the summer, I think we will see the market become more balanced and more homes for sale. People that are underwater and people who have lost a large portion of their equity are going to start to see their equity positions improve. That gives them the equity they need to move to another home, so they will put their houses up for sale."
The median sale price in November increased 6.9% since November 2011 to $163,750. This is the 10th consecutive month the median sale price increased.
“We’re ending the year the way we started it, with better than expected performance. If we can get more reasonable regulation from Washington and if mortgage availability improves, 2013 will see a much stronger housing market,” Kelly said.
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