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Hopeful Signs in Housing Market

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Sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly across the country and in New Mexico in October, helped by improvement in the job market and record-low mortgage rates.

There were 673 sales of existing homes in October, compared to 653 in September and an 19 percent jump over the 566 in the same month last year, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

“This marks the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in detached home sales,” GAAR President Marc Guggino said in a statement.

“Traditionally in the fall, we see home sales activity decline,” he said. “With both an increase in home sales and in new listings entering the market, the fall of 2012 seems to be defying the year-end slowdown.”

The seesaw of local median prices continued. October’s median price was $166,300 down from $172,000 in September and slightly from the October 2011 median price 167,000, according to GAAR data.

The Realtors Association of New Mexico, which measures a mixture of new and existing homes statewide, noted there were 1,377 closed sales in October compared to 1,356 in September, and 1,181 sales in October of last year.

The statewide median price was unchanged. It was $170,000 in October, the same a month before and the same as in October of last year.

“Our state, while beginning to show signs of stabilization in median prices, has not yet reported the increases many states are already seeing,” RANM President Debbie Rogers.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million. That’s up from 4.69 million in September, which was revised lower.

The sales pace is roughly 11 percent higher than a year ago. But it remains below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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