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Home prices rose sharply in November in Western New York, as both pending and closed sales increased, and the supply of homes available for buyers shrank.

According to the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, 766 homes changed hands in November, up 5.9 percent from 723 a year ago, and up 14.7 percent from two years ago.

Sales have risen from a year ago in 10 of the last 12 months, and sales for 2012 through November were up 8.6 percent to 8,698.

BNAR reports only sales handled by its members in the eight counties of Western New York, plus a handful of sales in Monroe and Livingston counties.

Heralding a continuation, pending sales were also up in November, by 6.3 percent to 626 from 589 a year earlier. They were also up 11 percent from two years ago, when 566 sales were in progress in November 2010.

Pending deals have been up every month for the past year, and transactions through November were up 11.6 percent to 9,452.

But the pickings are getting slim for buyers. New listings fell 5.2 percent to 907 from 957 in November 2011 and 12 percent from 1,027 in November 2010.

They were down 2 percent for the year through November, to 15,743.

And the inventory of all homes available for sale plunged 16.8 percent to 5,126 – the lowest level for any month in at least two years. That represents 6.2 months of supply – a 25.3 percent drop. In turn, homes spent 71 days sitting on the market in November, down 10.1 percent.

As a result, the laws of supply and demand took hold of pricing. The median sales price – half sold for more, half for less – rose 12.9 percent to $126,000 from $111,563. That’s the fourth-highest median price of any month in the last two years. Meanwhile, the average price soared 17.7 percent to $155,247 – the second-highest average of any month in the past two years – from $131,914. On average, sellers received 94.8 percent of their asking price.

Median price jumps 13 percent

Closed, pending sales also rise, but inventory plunges

30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.53 percent

Sold: 766 (November 2012), 723 (November 2011): +5.9% increase

Pending: 626 (November 2012) 589 (November 2011): +6.3% increase

Median price: $126,000 (November 2012); $111,563 (November 2011): +12.9%

Days on market: 71 (November 2012); 79 (November 2011), -10.1%

Source: Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association

email: jepstein@buffnews.com