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The REAL Trends Housing Market Report for January 2016 shows that housing sales increased 9.2 percent from the same month a year ago. The year-over-year gain is the strongest year-over-year increase since June 2015. The Northeast led the way with a 17.8 percent increase.

“January housing sales continued the increased pace of rising sales recorded in the last two months of 2015. The last two months of 2015, and now January home sales, have risen on a year-over-year basis faster than any month since last spring,” said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “The Northeast region had the strongest showing with unit sales up 17.8 percent. Each region showed increased strength indicating that the housing market is heading into the new year in solid shape,” he added.

The annualized rate of new and existing home sales was 6.210 million which was up strongly from the 5.687 million rate of home sales recorded in January 2015. This was also the strongest rate of unit sales since June 2015.

Housing prices rose an average of 2.5 percent from January 2015 indicating that home sales and average prices are rising in tandem and above the average for the last six months of 2015.

“The market appears to be stronger than anticipated and has shrugged off other negative news such as the decline in equity markets and the slower rate of foreign purchases of homes,” said Murray.

Housing unit sales for January 2016 increased 9.2 percent, up from the December 2015 results. Unit sales were up 17.8 percent in the Northeast, the best performance in all regions. Sales in the Midwest region were up 13.2 percent, the West saw an increase of 6.6 percent, and the South region had an increase of 5.6 percent.

The average price of homes sold in January 2016 in the South region increased by 4.3 percent, the best result in the nation. The Midwest saw average prices increase 4.0 percent, average prices in the West were up 2.2 percent while the Northeast experienced a decline in the average price of homes sold with prices dropping 1.1 percent.

“We now expect that housing unit sales increases will continue to be higher in 2016 than thought earlier this past year. Most forecasts believe that housing unit sales will increase 3 to 5 percent for all of 2016 and that average prices will increase 3 to 4 percent. With the recent strength in housing sales both of those may be on the low side of what may happen in 2016.”