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National Real Estate Market Pulse

Sales and prices are up and the length of time it takes to complete sales is down, but National Association of Realtor’s® data for August suggests real estate isn’t out of the woods.

The national median home price, at $187,400, is up 9.5 percent from year-ago levels, and the market is on pace to see 4.82 million home sales this year, a 9.3 percent improvement over last year. Almost two-thirds of sales are completed within three months, a big jump from a year earlier.

But practitioner confidence, a good indicator of how the market will look down the road, has barely budged for months. All trend lines are from August 2011 to August 2012.

Existing-home sales is a seasonally adjusted annual rate, which is the actual rate of sales for the month, multiplied by 12 and adjusted for seasonal sales differences. Pending home sales is an index that measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year. Inventory measures the number of existing homes on the market at the end of the month. Buyer and seller traffic, current conditions, six- month expectations, and time on market derive from a monthly REALTOR® Confidence Index. Results are based on 3,421 responses to 6,000 surveys sent to large and small real estate offices. The survey asks practitioners to indicate whether conditions are strong (100 points), moderate (50), or weak (0).

SOURCE: National Association of Realtors