Marion County real estate market continues to improve. | North Salem Real Estate

Marion County’s real estate market continued to improve in July, as the median sales price for single-family homes rose, inventory shrank and more people joined the ranks of property buyers.

The median sales price for a single-family home increased to $94,000, which is nearly 12 percent higher than during the same month a year ago and 7.5 percent greater than the latest 12-month average, according to a market report from the Ocala/ Marion County Association of Realtors.

The supply of single-family homes continued to fall during July to 3,368, down 21.4 percent compared with the same month a year ago. During July 2010, the county’s inventory was 5,503 properties.

The July sales information does not include properties sold by homeowners.

There were 363 sales closings during July; that’s 7.7 percent higher than July 2011 and 1.3 percent higher than the average for the past 12 months.

Pending sales continued to rise during July. There were 518 pending sales, up 55.1 percent from the same month a year ago and 13 percent greater than the past 12-month average.

Judy Ray, president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors and a broker at Keller Williams Realty in Ocala, said the latest information reflects a modestly improving market.

Several factors are contributing the rising prices, Ray said.

“Prices on the lower-end (homes) are increasing, and we’re selling more on the higher end,” she said. Also, there is lower inventory and multiple bids on properties.

Many of the sales were paid in cash, suggesting the homes were purchased as investments, Ray said

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