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Report: Local Housing Market Recovering

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File photo of a house for sale. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

File photo of a house for sale. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(CBS Seattle/AP) — The real estate market in Washington continues to improve. According to a University of Washington report, sales of existing homes and home prices both rose in the first quarter of 2013.

Home sales were up 14.7 percent, compared to the same period a year ago, making it the third quarter in a row to experience growth. The statewide median home price was up 14.1 percent to $237,000 in the first quarter.

San Juan County had the highest median home price in Washington at $412,500 and Lincoln county, just west of Spokane, had the lowest at $65,000, the report said.

“Washington’s housing market is clearly recovering,” said Glenn Crellin, the associate director for research at the university’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.

One thing preventing more sales, says Crellin, is that there aren’t enough homes for sale. “Construction activity is improving, but builders cannot improve availability overnight. Lenders need to release properties which have been foreclosed, but are still owned by the lender to allow the market to stabilize and prevent renewed bubble conditions.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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