Local November housing sales reach four-year high, up 15.7 percent over 2011
Online Staff Report
Rockford Area Realtors sold 325 properties in November, the highest November total in four years and up 15.7 percent from 281 homes sold in November 2011.
This is the fifth straight month of year-over-year increases, with 10 of 11 months showing increases over 2011; in 2011, every month showed a decrease compared to the same month in 2010.
“The housing market is gathering strength,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. “To have strong sales and housings gains in the last quarter of the year is encouraging for buyers and sellers, who are clearly feeling more confident about the housing market.”
The three-month average sales price fell 2.5 percent from $101,553 in November 2011 to $99,007 this year; this is down 2.7 percent from $101,792 in October.
“Everyone agrees that the housing marketing is finally recovering, but don’t expect big price gains,” Bois said.
According to the analytics firm Fiserv, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s housing markets will see price declines for the year through next June. Those markets experiencing housing price increases, will see just 0.3 percent bumps.
Perhaps the biggest news coming out of November housing sales was that monthly inventory fell to a seven-and-a-half year low. The average monthly inventory of 2,271 homes was the lowest level since May 2005. Bois said a combination of lower inventory and rising demand will eventually push up prices.
Another November housing highlight was a drop in the time it takes to sell a home.
The absorption rate fell to 7.2 months, the lowest number all year and the lowest average time to sell a home since March 2008, more than four-and-a-half years ago. Last year, the absorption rate hit an all-time high of 14.4 months, a 50 percent drop in just one year.
“There’s a great deal of end-of-year excitement,” Bois said. “The modest recovery of employment conditions and stronger consumer confidence, along with low mortgage rates are responsible for the solid gain in housing demand.”
Posted Dec. 6, 2012
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