January housing gains reach strongest level in four years

February 21st, 2013

Home sales in the Windy City experienced significant gains in January.

Home prices in January climbed to new levels and continued to spark confidence in the housing market’s steady recovery.

The Real-Time Home Price Tracker released by RedFin found that home prices increased 10 percent year over year across 19 major U.S. markets. As a result of stronger prices and affordability, sales volume increased 12 percent from January 2012, representing the strongest January in four years. Typically, the summer months are the top selling periods of the year, but strong gains in January demonstrate that the market is recovering at a faster pace than many analysts initially predicted.

Further, RedFin found that the percentage of listings that sold within 14 days climbed from 26 percent in December to 30 percent in January, reaching the highest point since the debut of tracking in 2010.

Although 15 of the 19 cities measured saw sales volumes rise year over year, the results varied greatly by location. For example, Chicago, Illinois, experienced the strongest improvement, as sales volumes increased 49.8 percent this January from one year ago. However, sales volumes in Sacramento, California, fell 31.5 percent from one year ago, demonstrating that some markets are still struggling to recover from the 2008 housing crisis.