U.S. home prices posted their first annual increase in a year
and a half in February, posting a 1.1 percent gain according to the
monthly RE/MAX National Housing Report.
The median sales prices of $171,881 for all types of residential
properties was up from $170,025 in February 2011 and represented a
1.4 percent monthly increase over the January 2012 figure.
Home sales were up as well, showing an annual gain for the
eighth consecutive month with an 8.7 percent increase over the
February 2011 level.
"All the data is pointing to a very active spring and summer
selling season this year, which is great news for a recovering
housing market," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. "As sales numbers
have trended higher for several months, we have been anticipating a
turnaround in home prices, and it looks like it's finally
The sales figures are based on data from 53 U.S. metropolitan
areas and include sales of distressed properties such as
foreclosures and short sales, which tend to sell for significantly
less than comparable homes sold in conventional transactions.
Price, sales gains broad-based
Of the areas surveyed, 24 of the 53 saw annual price increases,
including double-digit gains in some of the nation's hardest-hit
housing markets, including Miami, up 20.5 percent; Orlando, up 15.8
percent; Phoenix, up 12.5 percent; and Tampa, up 11.1 percent. The
Detroit market just missed double digits, posting a 8.9 percent
price increase since February 2011.
Nearly all metropolitan areas saw increased sales over the past
12 months, with 45 of the 53 showing an annual sales increase and
26 with double-digit gains. The biggest annual sales gains were in
Albuquerque, up 46.6 percent from February 20112 levels; Providence
(R.I.), up 36.7 percent; Raleigh, up 33.8 percent; Boston, up
30.5 percent and Chicago, with sales up 27.5 percent.