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Home Sales Rise 3.4% in January: RE/MAX

Home sales climbed 3.4 percent year-over-year in January, hitting a stride for the seventh consecutive month, according to ""RE/MAX"":http://www.remax.com/.

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The real estate company released a National Housing Report that shows a sudden sales jump by yearend 2011, with homes for sale down 19.3 percent month-over-month.

""This positive start to the year will hopefully set the tone for a continuing housing recovery that's drawing home

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buyers with low interest rates and low prices,"" RE/MAX CEO ""Margaret Kelly"":http://www.remax.com/national-corp/biographies/margaret_kelly.aspx said in a statement.

""If sales continue ahead of last year's pace and inventory does not increase significantly, we could start to see increasing home prices this year,"" she added.

The company attributed falling inventory numbers to a shortfall in foreclosed properties, with home prices declining by 0.8 percent in 53 metropolitan areas.

Home prices leapt forward in 15 metro areas year-over-year, with figures increasing by 23.8 percent in Miami; 15.8 percent in Orlando; 9 percent in Phoenix; 5.5 percent in Little Rock; and 5.1 percent in Miami.

Twenty metro areas went up by double digits in 2011, with sales on the rise in 36, including Albuquerque, up by 33.9 percent; Atlanta, by 26.3 percent; Chicago, by 15.3 percent; Indianapolis, by 19.6 percent; Rhode Island, by 19.6 percent; and Wilmington, by 33.2 percent.

Total home inventory fell 4.2 percent month-over-month in January and 24.1 percent year-over-year, while homes sold in January averaged 103 days on market, five days higher than a 98-day average in December.

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