Home sale activity climbs in 2012

By Maura Wery

Riley County commissioners learned Monday that housing values here grew during 2012.

Delivering an annual update tied to the pending release of individual home valuations, appraisal analyst Allen Todd said there were 933 residential sales in the county during 2012, up from 838 in 2011.

The local data was part of an apparent national turnaround in housing that showed an estimated 19 percent uptick in sales, according to a recent release from the Census Bureau. One reason the increase here was not as great as elsewhere was that this area’s housing economy started from a stronger base with less of a decline in the market here than had been seen nationally for the previous several years.

Todd said the average sale price of a home was $191,600 in 2012, up $8,100 from the previous year. Todd said this growth represented a breakthrough because the $183,500 figure from 2011 had been stagnant for the past three years.

The median sale price for open market residential sales also rose, to $172,000, in 2012. In 2011 the amount was $163,000. The median point is the midpoint number above and below which an equal number of transactions were recorded.

Todd said that since 2009 the area’s median had hovered either slightly above or slightly below that figure. The 2012 market marked the first time since 2009 that the number has risen.

Another good figure for the local housing market is the median sales ratio, a measure of the percentage of homes that are listed compared to those that are sold. Todd said the local ratio is 99 percent, signaling that the market could be on the rise.

Todd said that although he doesn’t see the market being really hot yet he thinks it will be on the rise in the next few years.

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