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Southeast Michigan home sales rise 7%, sale prices up 5.3%

By John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press

House sales and median sale prices in southeast Michigan rose in January compared to a year ago, further signaling that the regional economy might be climbing out of its deep recessionary hole.

Realcomp II Ltc., a Farmington Hills-based real estate service, reported today that home sales in the metro Detroit area rose 7% in January from the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, median sale prices for houses and condominiums in the Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston counties rose to $63,150 in January from $60,000 a year before, an increase of 5.3%

In another sign of a market heating up, Realcomp reported that the average number of days a home spent on the market decreased in January by seven days from 96 to 89 compared to the same month the year before.

But the data still contained signs of stress in the market. Of the 4,439 sales closed in January of this year in the entire southeast Michigan region, slightly more than 16% were identified as “short sales,” or sales where the homeowner owed more on the mortgage than the house was worth.

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