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Andy Alexander: 2017 Best in 11 Years For Home Sales

Existing-home sales edged up 1.1 percent nationally in 2017, solidifying the best year of sales in the last 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.1 percent in 2017 to a 5.51 million sales pace and surpassed 2016 (5.45 million) as the highest since 2006 (6.48 million).

Locally, existing-home sales reached 1,605 in 2017. Single-family homes were up 5.7 percet to a 1,179 sales pace and surpassed 2016 (1,115).

Condominiums were up .7 percent to a 426 sale pace and surpassed 2016 (423) sold properties.

Median sales price for single-family homes was up 8.8 percent at $1,250,000 in 2017 surpassing 2016 ($1,149,000). Condominiums median sales price was up 4.6 percent at $630,500, surpassing 2016 ($603,000), according to Coldwell Banker.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market performed remarkably well for the U.S. economy in 2017, with substantial wealth gains for homeowners and historically low distressed property sales.

“Existing sales concluded the year on a softer note, but they were guided higher these last 12 months by a multi-year streak of exceptional job growth, which ignited buyer demand,” said Yun.

“At the same time, market conditions were far from perfect. New listings struggled to keep up with what was sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the country," he said.

"These two factors ultimately muted what should have been a stronger sales pace,” Yun said.

— Andy Alexander is a licensed real estate broker with Santa Barbara Brokers and the 2018 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. The opinions expressed are his own.

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