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Prices, Sales Remain Hot as Summer Starts

Prices shot up in May even as for-sale inventory showed signs of recovery, according to ""Redfin's"":http://www.redfin.com/ Real-Time Price Tracker.

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The monthly report follows home prices, sales, and inventory across 19 U.S. markets and is based on local databases used by Redfin agents.

According to the brokerage's findings, home prices came in 4.3 percent higher month-over-month and 17.4 percent higher year-over-year in May (to a median $208 per square foot). Eighteen of the 19 markets measured by Redfin saw monthly improvement in prices (Austin being the exception), and all 19 reported yearly increases.

Once again, the West proved strongest, with Sacramento, San Francisco, and Las Vegas posting the largest year-over-year price gains: 39.0 percent, 34.7 percent, and 32.5 percent, respectively.

Home sales also spiked between April and May, climbing 15.8 percent monthly and 13.7 percent yearly to their highest level since Redfin began compiling the data in January 2010. Fourteen of the 19 markets tracked reported an increase in sales from a year ago, and all 19 saw sales volume rise on a monthly basis.

With sales typically peaking in June, Redfin expects another increase in its next report, followed by a tapering off through the rest of the year.

The report was released on the same day as the company's ""special inventory report"":https://themreport.com/articles/inventory-levels-continue-to-grow-in-may-2013-06-17, which showed the number of active listings grew for the second straight month in May. Inventory was still down 22 percent year-over-year, however.

""May's housing market has good news for everyone,"" said Redfin researcher Tim Ellis. ""There are some early signs that the market may be cooling slightly, but for now things are still hot.""

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