Local housing markets build momentum in August

Although the economy continues to fight an uphill battle toward recovery, the majority of housing markets across the country stabilized or gained significant ground in August, a new report suggests.

Although the economy continues to fight an uphill battle toward recovery, the majority of housing markets across the country stabilized or gained significant ground in August, a new report suggests.

Last month, a thinning property inventory resulted in notable home price gains in many areas of the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors. On a year-over-year basis, the housing supply, including single-family properties, townhouses and condominiums, declined 18.69 percent, while dropping 1.2 percent from July.

Locally, inventory levels thinned in 146 of the metropolitan areas monitored for the industry group. 

As a result, the median listing price of these properties increased 0.5 percent from August 2011 to $190,000, the report said. However, more established cities, such as Philadelphia, experienced home price declines on the same basis. 

"A growing number of older industrialized areas are showing signs of weakness, and the gains observed earlier in the 2012 home-buying season in many markets appear to be moderating," the industry group said.

On the other hand, property data indicates that certain markets, such as Seattle, experienced home price gains of 12.2 percent from a year earlier. This was the result of increased demand, due to fewer current homeowners opting to list their homes on the market, as negative equity accumulated following the real estate bubble burst was still an issue limiting their fluidity in the marketplace.



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