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Housing Market Performs Well Despite Rise in Interest Rates

Mortgage rates are inching higher and higher, but the market does not seem to be paying any heed as it continues to show signs of improvement, according to the HousingPulse Tracking Survey released Wednesday by ""Campbell Surveys"":http://www.campbellsurveys.com/ and ""_Inside Mortgage Finance_"":http://www.insidemortgagefinance.com/housing_pulse/.
[IMAGE] Home sales were down somewhat in September, but other indicators--such as distressed sales, time on market, sales-to-list-price ratio, and purchase offers--remained positive, according to the survey.

""The emerging slowdown in home purchases appears to be largely seasonal,"" said Thomas Popik, research director for

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the HousingPulse survey. ""September is yet another month where higher mortgage rates have had only a moderate effect on the housing market.""

HousingPulse also tracks distressed property sales, finding the share of home purchases involving REOs and short sales decreased to 24.6 percent over the three-month period ending in September, marking a four-year low.

Time on market also fell to a four-year low last month, according to HousingPulse. Homes spent an average of 8.6 weeks on the market, based on the September data gathered. Notably, this is down from the spring homebuying season when time on market was about 10 weeks.

Homes are not only selling quickly, but they are also selling for a high percentage of their list price, according to HousingPulse. The sales-to-list-price ratio in September was 97.5 percent, up from 96.1 percent in September 2012.

The average number of purchase offers on non-distressed properties was 2.2 over the three months ending in September, down just slightly from a four-year high of 2.3 reached in early summer.

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