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November Home Sales Increase 16.8 Percent

SPRINGFIELD (December 20, 2012) Unit home sales for single-family homes increased while prices decreased in the Capital Area during November 2012, according to the Capital Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR).

For the month of November, the median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $106,000, reflecting a slight decrease of $300 from the November 2011 price of $106,300. The year-to-date median sale price through November of 2012 was 114,000, reflecting an increase of 3.6 percent over the $110,000 price during the same period in 2011. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

According to CAAR, 278 homes were sold in November 2012 as compared to 238 homes sold in November 2011, reflecting a 16.8 percent increase. Year-to-date homes sales through November of 2012 totaled 3,261, reflecting a 10.4 percent increase over the 2,953 sales year-to-date through November of 2011. “With one month to go in the year 2012 home sales have already eclipsed all of 2011,” said REALTOR Don Cave, president of the Capital Area Association of REALTORS. “That bodes well for a strong finish to 2012 as we poise ourselves for a robust 2013," said Cave.

There were 270 pending sales at the end of November, a 4.6 percent decrease from the 283 pending sales during the same time a year ago. Pending sales are essentially those contracts that have been entered into between buyer and seller but have not yet closed.

According to CAAR, homes closed in November of this year sold faster than those closed during November of 2011. The typical home sold in November of 2012 was on the market 91 days before being sold as compared to 97 days the same time last year. The average time on market year-to-date through November of 2012 was 106 days, up marginally from 104 days during the same time period last year.

“Foreclosure sales in November continued to have a downward effect on the median sale price. The median price of a foreclosure sale was $39,700 in November of 2012, based on 44 sales, up substantially from the $26,900 price in November 2011,” said Cave.

The number of new residential listings taken in the Capital Area for the month of November 2012 was 331, reflecting an increase of 7.8 percent over the 307 new listings at this time last year. There were 1,449 listings at the end of November 2012, down 2.2 percent from the 1,481 listings at the end of November 2011. As of December 17th there were 1,550 listings on the market reflecting a 5.3 month supply of inventory based on the average monthly sales rate over the past twelve months.

“As we near the ‘fiscal cliff’, for REALTORS® and homeowners, one area of concern as policymakers discuss places to cut is the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID),” said Cave. “The MID has a huge fiscal impact with about 37 million homeowners nationally claiming the mortgage interest deduction with an annual budgetary impact of roughly $90 Billion. The National Association of REALTORS® is committed to protecting homeownership by protecting the MID, and has issued a Call for Action asking that Congress not harm the fragile housing market by altering the MID as part of any deal with regard to the fiscal cliff,” 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 November 2012, down over one half a percent from the 3.99 average rate during November of 2011. "Inflationary pressures are expected to build during the next two years. As a result, mortgage interest rates will also rise with inflation. Buyers who are currently held back by tight mortgage credit standards should work to improve their credit scores so they'll be able to qualify for a mortgage while conditions are still favorable," said Cave.

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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