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Positive Signs Seen in Local Housing Market in 2013

SPRINGFIELD (January 14, 2014). Home sales were up while home prices were down in 2013, according to a new year-end report by the Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) including the annual community profile. 

Home sales in the Capital Area during the month of December 2013 amounted to 261 units, nearly unchanged from the 260 home sales recorded in December of 2012. Home sales for 2013 trended up with 3,732 unit sales, reflecting a 5.6 percent increase over the 3,523 units sold during the same period in 2012.

According to REALTOR Steve Myers, president of CAAR, 2013 marks the busiest year for home sales since 2007, however, some of this can be attributed to the impact of foreclosure sales which made up over 16 percent of all sales in 2013.

 

The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) during December 2013 was $92,500, down 18.9 percent from the prior December. The median home sale price for 2013 was $110,000, reflecting a 3.6 percent decrease from the 2012 median price of $114,000. "Although 2013 marks the first decrease in the median price since 2008 this reflects the second highest year end price on record," said Myers.

 

The inventory of homes listed for sale at the end of December 2013 was 1,370, reflecting a 3.7 percent decrease from the 1,423 listings at the end of 2012. Current inventory levels stand at 1,444 homes and reflects a 4.6 month supply at the average monthly sales pace for the past twelve months. This is down from 5.3 months during the prior month of November. 

The number of sales pending at the end of December 2013 was 224, as compared to 220 during the same time in 2012. Although days on market is currently trending up the 101 average cumulative days on market for 2013 was down from the 104 days in 2012.

During 2013 there were 127 new residential construction sales, nearly unchanged from the 124 sales in 2012. New construction sales in 2013 made up 3.4 percent of all home sales in the Capital Area. The median price of a new construction sale reported through the MLS in 2013 was $248,000, reflecting a 3.7 percent increase over the $239.200 median price in 2012, and the highest median price on record for new construction sales.

During 2013 there were 602 foreclosure sales, reflecting 16.1 percent of all home sales in the Capital Area. This is the highest number of foreclosure sales since the association began tracking this statistic in 2010. Additionally, the median price of a foreclosure sale in 2013 was $31,600, down substantially from $40,000 in 2012. Myers says that the number of foreclosure sales is having a definite impact on the overall median price. "If it weren’t for all of the foreclosure sales our median sale price would be in positive territory," said Myers.

According to Myers, our members were quite busy in 2013 assisting their clients in meeting their real estate needs. "This activity came in many forms such as helping a first-time homebuyer get into their dream home, helping an empty-nester downsize or helping to return a foreclosed property back into a productive asset," said Myers.

Although we are optimistic about the coming year there will be challenges, according to Myers. "Home sales and prices will be impacted by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory, continued foreclosure sales and continuing tight credit. New rules defining the Qualified Mortgage have begun to go into effect bringing with it new underwriting rules that will make it more difficult to attain financing," he said.

The Capital Area Association of REALTORS® is the Voice for Real Estate in the Capital Area representing nearly 700 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

The Capital Area’s Resource for Real Estate Information can be found at www.SeeHouses.com.

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