Nationwide for all of 2013, there were 5.09 million sales, which is 9.1 percent higher than 2012. This was the strongest home sales report since the 2006 boom when sales reached a high of 6.48 million. “Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
Home Sales Report on PricesThe National Association of Realtor's home sales report also addressed prices. The national median existing-home price for all of 2013 was $197,100, which is 11.5 percent above the 2012 median of $176,800, and was the strongest home price gain since 2005 when the median price rose 12.4 percent. The shrinking share of distressed home sales accounts for some of the price growth. Ten percent of December sales were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in December, while short sales were discounted 13 percent.
The median time on market for all homes was 72 days in December, up sharply from 56 days in November, but slightly below the 73 days on market in December 2012. Month to month differences in marketing time are bound to show up in home sales reports. The important information here is that marketing time has consistently been less than in 2012, a sign that demand is stronger.
Regional homes sales reports showed good news in most areas. In the South, existing-home sales increased 3.0 percent to an annual level of 2.03 million in December, and are 4.6 percent above December 2012. The median price in the South was $173,200, up 8.9 percent from a year ago. Source: National Association of Realtor's
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