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Home sales accelerate

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sales of previously occupied homes posted solid gains in February around the country and in New Mexico.

In the Albuquerque metro area, sales of single-family detached homes in rose 7.11 percent in February from the same period last year, the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors reported. The 542 sales made it the highest February sales month since 2007.

Average and median sales prices increased over the previous month and previous year.

The median sales price was $168,500 in February, an increase of 4.33 percent from the same month the previous year and a 6.65 percent rise from the previous month, according to the report. February’s average sales price was $203,514, a 9.38 percent increase from January 2013.

“These numbers reflect a simple economic premise: When inventories get low, price starts to react,” GAAR President Julie Greenwood said in a statement. “The number of closed sales reported for these two months is already around 11 percent higher than the first two months of last year.”


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The pace of sales nationwide was the fastest in more than three years, and more people put their homes on the market.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales increased 0.8 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million. That was the fastest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary homebuyer tax credit had boosted sales. The February sales pace was also 10.2 percent higher than the same month a year ago.

Steady hiring and near-record-low mortgage rates have helped boost sales and prices in most markets. The Realtors’ group says the median price for a home sold in February was $173,600. That’s up 11.6 percent from a year ago.

More people are also starting to put their homes on the market, which could help sales in the coming months. The number of available homes for sale rose 10 percent last month, the first monthly gain since April. Even with the gain, the inventory of homes for sale was still 19 percent below a year ago.
— This article appeared on page B01 of the Albuquerque Journal