Tuesday, February 26, 2013 / by Nathan Clark
The sale of existing homes in theUnited Statesrose in January, with further price gains and the development of sellers’ markets, according to the National Association of Realtors.
According to the NAR, the annual sales rate rose to 4.92 million units in January, up 0.4 percent from December and 9.1 percent higher than January of last year. Sales were up in all regions but the west, where limited inventories are putting a damper on sales volume in some markets.
"Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a news release. "In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We've transitioned into a seller's market in much of the country."
Total housing inventory at the end of January fell to a 4.2-month supply, the lowest since April of 2005. Meanwhile the median sales price for all existing home sales increased to $174,600 in January, 12.3 percent above January 2012 levels and the 11th straight month of year-over-year increases.