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The median sale price of homes sold jumped by 7.1 percent to a monthly record high during June, fueled by a big drop in the number of homes on the market, a local real estate group reported.
The median sale price of the homes that sold in June – meaning half sold for more and half for less – increased to $127,500, which was the highest monthly median sale price ever, according to statistics from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors. The July median sale price topped the previous monthly record of $125,000 set in July 2011 and October 2010.
The average sale price of the homes sold during June, which can be swayed by the sale of a fairly small number of very high- or low-priced houses, jumped by 12 percent, to $157,691, from $141,309 a year before.
The strengthening home prices occurred as the local housing market shifted into a more favorable balance for home-sellers, thanks to a 14 percent drop in the number of homes that were for sale during June. That shrinking supply helped spur more competition for the dwindling number of homes on the market.
The Buffalo Niagara region had about a seven-month supply of homes for sale during June, which was a major improvement from the 9.2-month supply in June 2011, the real estate group said.
“Residential real estate has finally taken some meaningful strides toward recovery,” the real estate group said in an analysis of the June sales data.
Despite the strengthening prices, the pace of home sales was subdued during June. Home sales slipped by 1.3 percent during June, to 899, compared with 911 during June 2011.
But the slight decline in closed sales, which reflect deals that were signed during the early to mid-spring, masked a flurry of deals that were inked during June. Pending home sales, which reflect contracts to purchase homes that won’t close for several more weeks, strengthened by 7 percent, to 1,007, from 941 a year earlier.
As a result, the average home for sale in Buffalo Niagara was on the market for 69 days before it sold, down from 71 days a year ago and far below the unusually high market times that topped 90 days in February and March.
Sellers also captured a bit more of their asking price during June. The homes that sold during June sold for an average of 95.4 percent of their most recent listing price, up from 95.1 percent a year earlier. That statistic does not take into account reductions in listing prices that may have taken place before a sales contract was signed.
For the first half of this year, home sales are up by 8.5 percent, and pending sales have increased by nearly 15 percent, which has helped push the median sale price of homes through the first six months of 2012 up by 1.3 percent, to $115,000, from $113,500 during the same period last year.
Across the United States, home prices rose in June from the same month last year, marking the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010. The increase is the latest evidence of a nascent recovery in the housing market.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday showed a gain of 0.5 percent from June 2011.
The last time the year-over-year index increased was in September 2010. For much of that 12-month period, the government was offering a homebuying tax credit. Buffalo Niagara is not part of the home price index.
The report also showed that all 20 cities tracked by the index rose in June, from May, the second consecutive time in which every city posted month-over-month gains. Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta recorded the biggest one-month gains.
“The combined positive news coming from both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices bode well for the housing market,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. email: drobinson@buffnews.com