Home sales start off strong in 2012, rise for seventh straight month

For the seventh consecutive month, home sale transactions improved from the year before in January, according to a report, indicating the housing market is slowly making up ground from issues persisting the past few years.

For the seventh consecutive month, home sale transactions improved from the year before in January, according to a report, indicating the housing market is slowly making up ground from issues persisting the past few years.

RE/MAX's National Housing Report shows home sales grew 3.4 percent on a year-over-year basis in the first month of 2012, continuing a trend that began in summer 2011.

According to the real estate firm's property data, 20 of the 53 major markets surveyed for the report experienced double-digit increases in transactions. Additionally, the report shows January marked the 19th month in a row of dropping inventory.

"If sales continue ahead of last year's pace and inventory does not increase significantly, we could start to see increasing home prices this year," Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, said in a statement.

The median sales price recorded during the month was a shade under $130,000. In total, 15 metros saw prices jump on an annual basis, including hard-hit markets including Phoenix and Detroit.

To keep the housing market's momentum going, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to urge Congress to take additional actions to help homeowners.



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