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Strong home sales, prices mark metro Atlanta housing market

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Metro Atlanta’s housing market ended last year with strong gains in sales and price appreciation, and while this year may not be as robust, housing experts expect the market to continue to strengthen.

Home sales rose 19 percent in December and the median price was up 3 percent, compared with the previous month, according to the Atlanta Board of Realtor’s latest report released Friday.

While sales were down slightly year over year last month, the median price of homes for sale in metro Atlanta rose to $212,000 last year, up from $194,000, a 9 percent jump. The median is the midpoint where half the sales were below that price point and half were above.

“Home prices in 2014 were especially strong,” Ennis Antoine, the Atlanta Board of Realtors’ new president, said in releasing the report. “ I expect them to continue to accelerate in 2015, but at a tempered pace, allowing homes to remain affordable for first-time buyers.”

More homes also were on the market last year, with inventory up nearly 31 percent in December, compared with December 2013. While new listings were down last month from November, they were up 11 percent from the previous December.

“Inventory is rising because sellers are capitalizing on recent appreciation and listing more properties,” Antoine said.

Among the Board of Realtors’ other findings:

• The supply of homes for sale over the 12 month period declined slightly to 3.8 months.

• The average sales price in December was $274,000, up 3 percent from $251,000 in December 2013.

• The group expects interest rates to remain low for most of this year.
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