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RE/MAX: Prices Up 8% from Year Ago; Inventory Falls Again

Median home prices in January continued to stay above year ago levels while falling month-over-month, according to a recent report from ""RE/MAX"":http://www.remax.com/. At the same time, inventory remained low, causing a shortage in supply while pushing up home prices, RE/MAX explained.

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At $155,000, the median sales price in January sat 6.6 percent below December's sales price, but was still 8 percent higher compared to January 2012.

RE/MAX's report surveys 52 large metro areas nationwide. Out of all the metros tracked, the company found 44 saw year-over-year price growth, and 26 registered double-digit price gains. Metros that saw prices surge from the year before included San Francisco (+39.2 percent), Atlanta (+38.9 percent), Detroit( +31.1 percent), Phoenix (29.1 percent), Boise (+28.7 percent), and Las Vegas (+28.6 percent).

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Inventory trended downward month-over-month for 31 consecutive months in January after falling 5.1 percent from December. Inventory is also 28.9 percent lower than year ago levels. RE/MAX also reported months' supply of homes available for sale is now at 5, down from the 5.7-month supply in December and 7.3 last year.

Metros where supply is extremely low include San Francisco, where months' supply is 1.1, as well as Los Angeles (1.5), Denver (1.8), San Diego (2.2), Washington D.C. (2.2).

Home sales stayed true to seasonal trends and fell 22 percent from December, but were still up 9.1 percent from January 2012. The yearly increase marks the 19th straight month of yearly improvements in sales.

Out of the 52 metros tracked, 41 saw annual increases in sales, with 31 experiencing double-digit gains. Metros where sales spiked over a one-year period included Billings, Montana (+62 percent); Albuquerque ( +45.6 percent); Chicago (+39.2 percent); Raleigh, North Carolina (+33.4 percent), and Charlotte, North Carolina (+29.2 percent).

""We saw a strong start to 2012 last January, and this year is starting with an even higher number of sales and increased prices,"" said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX. ""Such an impressive start to the new year is hopefully pointing to an even stronger performance for the entire year. Expect the 2013 housing market to continue the solid recovery that began one year ago.""

About Author: Esther Cho

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