Closed real estate transactions were nearly 18 percent higher in October compared to year-ago levels, according to the October RE/MAX National Housing report, which includes MLS data for 52 metro areas. October — the latest data available — also marked the sixteenth month in a row in which sales were higher to the corresponding month in the previous year.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported this week that housing prices are continuing to rise, increasing 1.1 percent from August to September, and up 4 percent compared to last year. The FHFA price index only encompasses purchase prices of homes that have mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller reported Tuesday that home prices were up 3.6 percent from a year ago.
“As we enter the fourth quarter, 2012 is looking like the turn-around year for housing, with significant increases in sales and prices,” says Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX. “However, we recognize that this recovery is still fragile and dependent on more reasonable lending and regulation. If qualified buyers can obtain mortgages and more inventory comes to market, this recovery could become even stronger next spring.”
According to the RE/MAX report, 48 of the 52 metro areas analyzed reported higher sales than a year ago, and a record-breaking 40 metros even saw double-digit increases. Some of the biggest rise in sales were reported in Providence, R.I. (48% increase); Chicago (44% increase); Albuquerque, N.M. (39.3%); Burlington, Vt. (37%), and Wichita, Kan. (32.2%).