SPRINGFIELD (January 8, 2013). Home sales were up as were home prices in 2012, according to a new year-end report by the Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR).
Home sales in the Capital Area during the month of December 2012 amounted to 260 units, reflecting a decrease of 2.3 percent from the 266 home sales recorded in December of 2011. Year-to-date home sales through December of 2012 revealed 3,522 unit sales, up 9.4 percent from the 3,219 units sold during the same period in 2011.
According to REALTOR Don Cave, president of CAAR, 2012 unfolded much like he had anticipated and says there is healthy demand as momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a release of pent-up demand. “With lower rental vacancy rates and increasing rents, combined with continued historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes,” said Cave.
The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) during December 2012 was $110,000, up 7.8 percent over the $102,000 December 2011 price. The median home sale price year-to-date through December of 2012 yielded $114,000, reflecting a 3.6 percent increase over the $110,000 median price during the same period in 2011. “Existing-home sales continued to improve in 2012 overall with low inventory supply pressuring home prices,” said Cave. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
The inventory of homes listed for sale at the end of December 2012 was 1,342, reflecting a 1.7 percent decrease from the 1,365 listings during December of 2011 and
was at its lowest point in over five years. Current inventory levels stand at 1,455 homes and reflects a 4.9 month supply at the average monthly sales pace for the past twelve months.
The number of sales pending at the end of December 2012 was 220, as compared to 224 sales pending at the same time in 2011. The average cumulative days on market in December of 2012 was 87 days, as compared to 118 days during the same month in 2011. “The drastically reduced time on market in December of 2012 is a reflection of the relatively modest inventory available,” said Cave. The average cumulative days on market for year-to-date through December 2012 was 104 as compared to 105 in 2011.
During 2012 there were 129 new residential construction sales, reflecting a 7.5 percent increase over the 120 sales in 2011. New construction sales in 2012 made up 3.7 percent of all home sales in the Capital Area. The median price of a new construction sale reported through the MIS in 2012 was $238,500, reflecting a 0.4 percent increase over the $237,500 median price in 2011, and the highest median price on record for new construction sales.
During 2012 there were 447 foreclosure sales, reflecting 12.7 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. There were 266 foreclosure sales in 2010 and 337 in 2011. The median price of a foreclosure sale in 2012 was $40,000, up from $34,000 in 2011 as well as the $31,000 price in 2010.
Cave says he sees the outlook for real estate in 2013 as modestly improving. “We continue to be cautiously optimistic for the outlook for the coming year. The underlying conditions are there for a strong year (e.g., balanced inventory, affordable housing stock, affordability conditions and continued consumer demand). However, a positive outlook will be dependent on a continued improving economy which could feel the impact of potential cuts in federal government spending,” said Cave.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported that the national average commitment rate for 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgages was 3.35 percent in December 2012, down from the 3.96 average rate during December of 2011. The average 30-year rate for 2012 was 3.66 percent versus 4.45 in 2011.
The Capital Area Association of REALTORS® is the Voice for Real Estate in the Capital Area representing nearly 800 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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