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ABQ existing homes sale up over last year

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Existing home sales in Albuquerque showed a solid increase in September compared to the same month a year earlier but were down from the previous month, mirroring a national trend of fewer sales.

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of re-sold homes fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million, down from a pace of 5.39 million in August, which was revised lower, that group said.

In the Albuquerque metro area, there were 769 single-family detached home sales, marking an increase of 17.8 percent from the same month the previous year, the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors reported.

There were 857 closed sales in August.

Sales of single-family detached homes for September were the strongest September sales since 2006, with the top selling price range for detached single-family homes from $200,000 to $249,000, the group said.

The median sales price for September improved by 3 percent to $177,500. Sales of higher-priced homes saw improvement with price ranges of $250,000 and above increasing 22 percent over September 2012.

“We have had steady improvement in the housing market over the past four years,” GAAR President Julie Greenwood said in a statement.

Statewide home sales in September also continued to show a steady increase over numbers reported for the same month a year earlier, the Realtors Association of New Mexico reported.

There were 1,476 sales — a combination of new and existing homes — for a 7.9 percent increase over numbers reported last September, RANM said.

The September median sales price of $177,250 also came in 4.3 percent higher than the $170,000 median reported in September 2012.

“As usual, New Mexico does not experience the drastic ups and downs seen in many markets,” RANM President Cathy Colvin said in a statement. “But our increases in both number of sales and median prices have been sustained for several months now and we are optimistic they will continue their upward progress.”

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that mortgage rates rose sharply over the summer from their historic lows, threatening to slow a housing recovery that began last year and has helped drive modest economic growth.

But many economists expect home sales will remain healthy, especially now that rates have stabilized and remain near historically low levels. Final sales in September reflected contracts signed in July and August, when rates were about a percentage point higher than in May.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.28 percent last week, down from a two-year high of 4.58 percent in August. That’s also far below the 30-year average of 7 percent, according to Bankrate.com.

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