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 Home    Demand For Spring Housing Is Rising

The housing market is picking up and housing analysts are pointing to lower mortgage rates as the main reason. The spring buying season may be coming early.

Among the monthly report findings:Single-family home sales of 5,280 units were basically unchanged from a year ago but indicate the three-month slide in sales has ended.

By housing segment, the middle market — homes priced $500,000 to $750,000 — increased 7.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Homes priced less than $100,000 fell by 21 percent and those $100,000 to $150,000 dropped 16 percent.

High-end housing over $750,000 fell 8 percent.Total dollar volume rose 3.1 percent to $1.76 billion and the median home price rose increased nearly 3 percent, to $232,900.

Inventory has a 3.7 month supply, up from 3.1 months a year ago and slightly below the national average of 3.9 months.Leased properties performed very well, with single-family home rentals up 26.5 percent and the average rent up 0.8 percent to $1,733.

Townhome and condo leasing also surged, by 27 percent, with the average rent up 1.9 percent to $1,548.

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