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Home sales down in October, still up in 2012

Published 9:49am Thursday, November 15, 2012

While the number of homes sold in Austin dropped by more than 20 percent in October, local real estate authorities say there is reason for optimism.

There were 30 homes sold in October, down from 39 in October 2011, according to data released Wednesday by the Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors. But SEMAR President Jim Anderson cites stabilized prices and the 323 homes sold this year in Austin compared to the 310 sold from January to October 2011, a 4.2 percent increase, as signs the market is picking up.

“Across the southeast Minnesota area, the month of October continued to show signs of a housing comeback,” Anderson said. “Prices seem to have stabilized, and overall sales of existing residential homes year to date have increased when compared to the same time frame in 2011.”

However, through June, there were 190 homes sold, an 11.1 percent increase from the 171 sold through six months in 2011, while over the past four months, there were 133 home sold, down from the 139 sold during that span in 2011.

Homes are on the market before they sell for roughly the same time this year, on average 125 days, compared to 127 days through 10 months in 2011.

The Rochester area continues to show a large increase in home sales this year, with a 36.2 percent increase in October and a 20.7 percent increase for the year.

Austin’s 323 homes sold this year still betters Winona’s 293, Owatonna’s 268, and Albert Lea’s 163. However, Winona’s and Owatonna’s numbers are way up over last year, at 19.1 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively. The 163 homes sold in Albert Lea this year is a 6.9 percent decrease.

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