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VOL. 124 | NO. 17 | Tuesday, January 27, 2009

December Existing Home Sales Up 6.5 Percent

By ALAN ZIBEL | AP Real Estate Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A real estate group says sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent from November to December, closing out the worst year for the U.S. real estate market in more than a decade.

The increase was higher in Shelby County, where the sales of existing homes increased 18 percent from November to December, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

The total sales volume in terms of dollar amount for December was $109.6 million, a 16 percent increase over $94.4 million in November, although the average sales price of $100,419 marked a 2 percent decline from $102,460 in November.

Last month’s solid numbers helped the local market to some extent, but couldn’t counter an otherwise dreary year in which home sales fell 21 percent.

Shelby County saw just 16,481 home sales last year, down from 20,744 in 2007. Of last year’s sales total, 6,144 were bank sales, accounting for a record 37.3 percent of the market.

As for the U.S. figures, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing homes rose to an annual rate of 4.74 million in December, from a downwardly revised pace of 4.45 million in November.

December’s sales had been expected to fall to a pace of 4.4 million units, according to Thomson Reuters.

Nationally, the median sales price plunged to $175,400, down 15.3 percent from $207,000 a year ago. That was the lowest price since May 2003 and the biggest year-over-year drop on records going back to 1968.

Daily News senior reporter Eric Smith contributed to this story.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co.



RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 56 2,461
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 125 5,303
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 17 125 6,273
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 98 3,511