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December was good month for real estate sales

Portland Realtors closed more deals in December than they had in the past nine years, according to a new RMLS report released Thursday morning.

The regional listing service reported that closed home sales in December were up 25.6 percent from a year earlier (2,239 compared to 1,782) and nearly 15.6 percent higher than November. Realtors said this was the best December for Portland-area home sales since 2005.

RMLS reported that there are 5,146 active residential listings in the Portland area.

RMLS is the Regional Multiple Listing Service that provides real estate sales information in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

According to RMLS, residential sales in the Portland area were up in 2014 about 5 percent, and pending sales were up 4.3 percent. Closed sales increased 3.6 percent, according to the group.

Prices were also higher in 2014 than in 2013, according to RMLS. The average price in 2014 was $333,000, up 7.2 percent from 2013, when the average was $310,600. The median also rose 7.7 percent from $265,000 in 2013 to $285,500 during 2014.

The most expensive homes in December, according to the RMLS median price figures, were in Lake Oswego and West Linn ($440,000), followed by West Portland ($405,000) and north Washington County/Sauvie Island ($354,900). The least expensive homes were in Yamhill County ($199,000) and Columbia County ($209,500).

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