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Housing Trends Settle for Cold Months, Inventory Decline Slows

The ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.themreport.com/articles/existing-home-sales-skid-in-september-prices-rise-again-2013-10-21 isn't the only organization to report a drop in home sales for September. ""RE/MAX's"":http://www.remax.com/ latest data also shows an expected seasonal slump, with both transactions and home prices dipping from August.

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According to the company's ""National Housing Report"":https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e1935cfc24&view=att&th=141cc6fa7ac8b210&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=6b9a78a055a2686_0.1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P8GR_0NCYpVS0Ymr0QTqzcG&sadet=1382374760941&sads=gPkJTsxMn2AUW6bqzS3CamTcIx4 for September, closed transactions fell 18.5 percent month-over-month, following the trend that usually occurs as summer passes into autumn. Year-over-year, sales increased 10.7 percent, making September the 27th consecutive month in which sales rose on an annual basis.

Of the 52 metro areas surveyed, 47 reported higher sales than September 2012, and 34 of those reported double-digit gains. Top markets were Chicago (+27.6 percent),[COLUMN_BREAK]

Boston (+20.7 percent), Anchorage (+19.9 percent), Kansas City (+19.3 percent), and Wichita (+19.1 percent).

The median price of all homes sold last month was $185,000, 1.7 percent down from August but 12.2 percent up from September 2012. It was the 20th straight month to see prices improve over the prior year.

Forty-six of the 52 metros tracked in September reported higher sales prices than one year ago, and 19 posted double-digit increases. As usual, the top markets for improvement were those that have the most ground to recover, including: Detroit (+44.4 percent), Atlanta (+36.0 percent), Las Vegas (+30.5 percent), San Francisco (+28.5 percent), and Miami (+24.4 percent).

""It's normal for the housing market to slow down a bit after the peak summer season, but it's really encouraging to see that both sales and prices remain significantly higher than this time last year. The strong performance we saw this summer and throughout 2013 confirms we've passed the early stages of a housing recovery and are now moving toward a sustainable marketplace,"" said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly.

RE/MAX also reported a slowdown in the rate of inventory decline. Compared to last year, September inventories were down 13.4 percent, bringing the month supply to 5.0 at the current sales pace. It was the sixth consecutive month in which inventory fell at a slower rate than the year before.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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