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Rising Sales, Less Inventory Boost Home Prices

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Home prices rose in most major cities in October compared with a year ago, pushed up by rising sales and a decline in the supply of available homes, although New Mexico prices have been on more of a roller coaster ride.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index released Wednesday increased 4.3 percent in October compared with a year ago. That’s the largest year-over-year increase in two-and-a-half years, when a homebuyer tax credit temporarily boosted sales.

Prices rose in October from a year ago in 18 of 20 cities. Phoenix led all cities with a 21.7 percent gain, followed Detroit, where prices increased 10 percent. Prices declined in Chicago and New York. Home prices fell in 12 of 20 cities in October compared with September. Monthly prices are not seasonally adjusted, so the decreases reflect the end of the peak buying season.

The survey measures no New Mexico cities. But the statewide Realtors Association of New Mexico, which has reported an upward year-over-year trend in sales, reported this month that the year-to-date median price has remained identical to the 2011 year-to-date median of $167,000, with fluctuations from month to month.

November’s median price of $169,000 is slightly lower than the October, 2012 median, but is about 5.5 percent higher than the reported November 2011 median of $160,000, the group said.

In the Albuquerque metro area, the up-and-down trend also is evident, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors. The November median price was $165,000, down from $166,300 in October, but up from $160,000 from November of 2011.

In the past 11 months, there have been six year-over-year median prices increases and five decreases, according to data from the group.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The October figures are the latest available.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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