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January Existing Home Sales Up, Inventory Down

Fri Feb 24, 2012 on Blog

Photo by The-Lane-Team

In another good sign for the housing market, the sale of existing homes last month rose in January in the US, the third time there’s been gains in the last four months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

According to numbers released this week, total sales were up 4.3 percent for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops.

Because of the increase in sales, the NAR says the amount of available homes on the market, which fell .04 percent, is at it’s lowest level since April 2006.

Locally, the Florida Association of Realtors showed also posted strong numbers in single-family home sales, with a 13 percent jump in resale prices in January in Miami-Dade County, compared to the previous year.

That’s the second straight increase for Florida’s biggest housing market, after December’s 5 percent gain.

The increases are marginal, yet encouraging. If February’s numbers also go up, it  would be the first three-month stretch of rising home prices for Miami-Dade since February 2007, the trade organization reports.

Even though foreclosures are expected to pick up yet again in Florida, local realtors say these numbers show that is that much closer to being a seller’s market yet again

“Home prices in Miami are significantly rising and sooner than expected, as the Miami real estate market continues to outperform the rest of the nation, mostly due to the strong impact of international buyers,” said Martha Pomares, the head of the Miami Association of Realtors.

The inventory of residential homes in Miami-Dade County dropped 37 percent from 24,507 to 13,610 over the last year. Last month, the total inventory of homes dropped 3.4 percent.

In Broward County, single-family home sales increased 15 percent, from 813 to 911, and condo sales dropped 16 percent in January compared to a year earlier, from 1,318 to 1,079

Statewide median sales prices in January increased 18.8 percent to $95,000 for condominiums and 5.3 percent to $129,000 for single-family homes.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $154,700 in January, a two percent drop from January 2010.