US: January is Seventh Consecutive Month for Increased Real Estate Sales

US Real EstateAccording to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, for the seventh consecutive month, home sales in January inched higher, rising 3.4 percent above levels seen last January. This data is based on a weighted average of 53 metropolitan areas surveyed.

After an unexpected jump in sales at the end of 2011, January sales returned to a seasonal norm and were down on a monthly basis 19.3 percent from December. Perhaps due to falling foreclosure numbers, January 2012 marked the 19th consecutive month that inventory levels dropped. The number of homes for sale last month was 24.1 percent lower than the number seen in January 2011. In the 53 metro areas, home prices were down only 0.8 percent from just one year ago, building a trend of anticipated price stabilization.

“This positive start to the year will hopefully set the tone for a continuing housing recovery that’s drawing home buyers with low interest rates and low prices,” said Margaret Kelly, chief executive officer of RE/MAX LLC. “If sales continue ahead of last year’s pace and inventory does not increase significantly, we could start to see increasing home prices this year.”

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