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Fiscal Cliff Worries Drove Home Sales Up in December, Says Realtors Association

Overall, home sales in California were up 42 percent in December.

Overall, home sales in California above $500,000 were up 42 percent in December.

The California Association of Realtors released data yesterday saying that fiscal cliff worries drove up the sales of homes priced $500,000 and higher by nearly 42 percent, compared to December of 2011, across California.

Sellers rushed to close deals to avoid any possible increase in capital gains taxes that might have resulted from a fiscal cliff deal in Washington, D.C.

However, the resale of single-family homes in Alameda County was down 1.5 percent in December, 2012 compared to December, 2011; the median price was up 17.8 percent though, to $529,910.

The statewide median price rose 27 percent in the same period.

The unsold inventory index for Alameda county was down to 1.3 last month, from 2.9 in December, 2011, and the median time on market was also down to 63 days from 82. The change in these indicators suggest a tighter housing market with sales occurring at a faster rate than the year before.

The 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.35 percent during December, 2012, down from 3.96 percent in December, 2011.

The data released by the Association does not break out to the city level.

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