Existing Home Sales in 2013 were the strongest they’ve been in the last seven years, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors. The data includes completed transactions involving single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops. In 2013, there were 5.09 million sales nationwide, a growth of 9.1% over 2012. Houston, and the Heights in particular, saw sales growth much higher than the national average, thanks to the city’s booming economy and recent influx of new residents.
On the national level, the housing market has experienced a healthy recovery in the last two years. Existing home sales are up 20% since 2011. The national median existing-home price in 2013 was $197,100, which is 11.5% higher than the 2012 median price of $176,800, and the strongest gain since 2005, when the median price rose 12.4%.
The median time on the market for all homes was 72 days in December of 2013, up from 56 days in November, but below the 73 days on market recorded median in December 2012. Sales are expected to continue rising this year despite rising prices and higher interest rates, due to the increased number of jobs available. More restrictive mortgage credit and constrained inventory hold growth back somewhat.
First time buyers accounted for 27% of transactions in December. Cash sales in the same month comprised 32% of transactions. Regionally, existing home sales fell in the Northeast and Midwest, but rose by 3.0% in the South and 4.8% in the West.