Decoding Compliance

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local edition ANALYTICS Or ig i nat ion inventory crunch," Tuccillo noted. "But despite the progress of Florida's housing market, it's still being held back by the difficulty consumers have in accessing credit." s e r v ic i ng Bay State Sales on the Rise Displaying elevated single-family sales and improving home pricing, Massachusetts' housing market enjoyed a strong start to 2013. Massachusetts // Florida // Florida's housing market continued its upswing into the new year, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 13,679 in January, up 11.7 percent year-over-year, the group reported. Meanwhile, pending sales—contracts signed but not yet completed or closed—for existing single-family homes rose 31 percent. Prices also rose: The statewide median sales price for singlefamily existing homes in January was $145,000, up 12.4 percent it difficult to access affordable financing options." January was also sunny for the townhouse-condo market. According to Florida Realtors, a total of 6,670 units sold statewide, up 2 percent compared with January 2012. Pending sales for townhouse-condos increased 17 percent. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties was $112,000, up 18 percent yearover-year. According to Florida Realtors' data, January marked the 13th straight month that statewide median sales prices rose on a year-over-year basis for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo units. The group also reported that the inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.6 months' supply in January. "This can encourage other potential sellers to come forward, thus easing the market's The M Report | 65 se c on da r y m a r k e t In the Sunshine State, existing home sales showed promise in January, bucking typical seasonal trends. over January 2012. In addition, sellers received an average of 92.2 percent of their original list price, according to Florida Realtors chief economist Dr. John Tuccillo, who added that he was "particularly impressed with the rise in percentage of list price received by sellers." "This year started out strong for Florida's housing market," said Dean Asher, 2013 president of Florida Realtors. "Home sales continue to rise, mortgage rates remain near historic lows, and the inventory of for-sale homes is lower than it's been in years." Asher added that the time it takes to sell a home is dropping; the median days a home spent on the market declined about 15 percent for both single-family homes and for townhome-condo properties. However, he noted that "overly restrictive credit requirements remain an obstacle for many potential buyers, who find a na ly t ic s Which Housing Market Beat the Winter Chill? Single-family home sales in Massachusetts rose more than 10 percent year-over-year in January, according to new data from the Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. Single-family sales reached 2,680—the highest January sales level since 2007, when there were 2,953 transactions. January 2012 single-family home sales were 2,436. "We ended 2012 on a pretty positive note, and this is carrying into January," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. "Recent pending sales data are a hopeful sign for a strong spring market. And given low mortgage rates and steady prices, there are positive signs that 2013 will be a second year of recovery." According to the Warren Group's data, the median sale price of single-family homes in the Bay State increased for the fourth consecutive month in January, rising 6.8 percent to $277,750, the highest median price for January in three years. Warren attributed the price increase to low inventory and noted that rising prices "should in turn give sellers more confidence to put their homes on the market." Condominium sales also increased statewide in January, rising 11 percent on an annual basis to 1,006. This is the first January since 2008 in which condo home sales broke the 1,000 mark. Meanwhile, the median condo price in January slipped a bit,

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