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SANDY — Utah home sales rose for the fifth straight month in October — up nearly 25 percent from last year, according to a new report from the Utah Association of Realtors.

During the month, Utah Realtors sold 2,819 homes, townhomes and condos compared to 2,261 sales last year.

It was the fourth consecutive month of double-digit sales increases. Since the beginning of the year, Utah home sales are up more than 7 percent compared to the same 10-month period in 2010.

“We are improving both in terms of having increased demand from buyers as well as having fewer properties come on the market,” said Lori Chapman, 2012 president of the Utah Association of Realtors. “The fewer months it takes to sell the entire inventory, the more likely it is that home prices will increase.”

For example, the inventory in Uintah County would take 4.6 months to sell and prices are up nearly 14 percent, a release states. Similarly, in Washington County, the supply is 6.5 months and the median price has increased about 11 percent from last October.

We are improving both in terms of having increased demand from buyers as well as having fewer properties come on the market.

–Lori Chapman

Statewide, the number of homes on the market has come down more than 21 percent over the past year — the fewest amount of homes on the market since mid-2007 and the eighth consecutive month of double-digit declines.

In October, the median price of homes sold in Utah was $174,750, down 3.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

In addition to Uintah and Washington counties, several other areas saw increasing prices, including Emery, Grand, Juab, Morgan and San Juan counties. The median price in Weber County stayed nearly the same, coming in at $139,500 compared to $137,990 last October.

The report stated that a number of other statewide housing market indicators were favorable, including pending sales — up 20.5 percent compared to October 2010.

October sellers received an average of 91 percent of their original asking price compared to 89 percent last year.

Affordability continued its upward trend, increasing more than 2 percent compared to last year. A typical Utah family makes 162 percent of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home, the report states.

“Our leading indicators are headed in the right direction,” Chapman said. “Should these trends continue, prices will eventually rise as they already have in some areas.”

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