The Light at the End of Tunnel: 2012 Real Estate Year in Review

While some economists feared witnessing the housing market slump and the large number of foreclosures in recent years would scare prospective buyers of homes for sale in Los Angeles County and other large cities, CoreLogic reports positive growth in home prices and sales in 2012.

According to the January MarketPulse report, home sales increased 6 percent, up to a pace of4.2 million from 3.9 million units in 2011. Of these transactions, non-distressed properties made up 3.2 million transactions,marking an 11 percent increase from a year earlier. With a smaller inventory of existing homes for sale, new sales grew 3 percent to reach an annual sales rate of300,000properties. REO transactions fell by more than 20 percent, the thirdannual decline, while short sales were up 23 percent with 370,000 units sold.

A smaller inventory helped lift home prices, which increased 7.5 percent in 2012, the largest gain since 2006.The data firm predicts they will move forward an additional 6 percent in the new year, as there arefewer delinquent properties on the market and demand continues to increase with a strengthening economy.

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