Housing conditions better than one year ago

The residential housing market improved significantly this year compared to last year.

The residential housing market improved significantly this year compared to last year. More specifically, property data from October showed increases in both home prices and transactions.

The level of home purchases last month rose nearly 18 percent from the same month in 2011, according to a report from Re/Max. The figure was more than 5 percent elevated from the previous month. The yearly increase was the 16th consecutive month where home sales improved in that fashion.

All but four metropolitan statistical areas examined in the report experienced yearly home sales gains, while 40 of those had jumps of 10 percent or more, the firm's October edition of the National Housing Report explained. The largest increase in sales was Providence, Rhode Island, which was nearly 50 percent higher year-over-year. Chicago and Albuquerque both had rises of more than 39 percent.

"As we enter the fourth quarter, 2012 is looking like the turnaround year for housing, with significant increases in sales and prices," said Margaret Kelly, CEO of Re/Max. "However, we recognize that this recovery is still fragile and dependent on more reasonable lending and regulation. If qualified buyers can obtain mortgages and more inventory comes to market, this recovery could become even stronger next spring."

Prices also rise during the month
The median sales price for the month of October rose 2.1 percent compared to the same point one year earlier, the firm's real estate records noted. The overall price for that month was $158,900, and the month marked the ninth in a row where prices increased compared to 12 months before.

Meanwhile, the report explained the price declined 3.7 percent from September's figure, but this was common for that point in the year.

The report added that the average days on the market for homes sold in October was approximately 82. This was nearly two weeks less than October 2011, as well as one day elevated from the previous month.

Home prices increased through much of the year, as a report from the National Association of Realtors noted. Of the 149 MSAs examined during the third quarter, approximately 120 markets experienced an improvement in median price. During the same three months, only 29 MSAs had drops in median prices.

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