Click Here

REALTORŪ Magazine Online: The real estate professional's business support tool.

OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Daily Real Estate News  |  May 24, 2010  |   Existing-Home Sales Up 7.6% in April
Existing-home sales rose again in April with buyers motivated by the tax credit, improving consumer confidence, and favorable affordability conditions, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSŪ.

Existing-home sales — completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condos, and co-ops — increased 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units in April from an upwardly revised 5.36 million in March, and are 22.8 percent higher than the 4.70 million-unit pace in April 2009. Monthly sales rose 7.0 percent in March.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the gain was widely anticipated. “The upswing in April existing-home sales was expected because of the tax-credit inducement, and no doubt there will be some temporary fallback in the months immediately after it expires, but other factors also are supporting the market,” he said. “For people who were on the sidelines, there’s been a return of buyer confidence with stabilizing home prices, an improving economy, and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.10 percent in April from 4.97 percent in March; the rate was 4.91 percent in April 2009.

Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 11.5 percent to 4.04 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.1-month supply in March. Raw unsold inventory is 2.7 percent above a year ago, but remains 11.6 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

“Although inventory levels remain above normal and much of the gain last month was seasonal, the housing price correction appears essentially over,” Yun said. “In fact, a majority of the markets have seen price gains recently. A return to old-fashioned responsible lending and buying will help the housing market avoid disruptive and painful bubble-bust cycles.”

Home Prices Improve

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $173,100 in April, up 4.0 percent from April 2009. Distressed homes accounted for 33 percent of sales last month, compared with 35 percent in March.

Single-family home sales rose 7.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in April from a pace of 4.70 million in March, and are 20.5 percent above the 4.19 million level in April 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $173,400 in April, up 4.5 percent from a year ago.

Single-family median prices rose in 18 out of 20 metropolitan statistical areas reported in April from a year ago; six of the areas experienced double-digit increases. In data recently reported for the first quarter, 91 out of 152 metros saw price gains.

Here’s a look at the number region-by-region:

Northeast: Existing-home sales surged 21.1 percent to an annual level of 1.09 million in April and are 41.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median price was $243,000, up 2.1 percent from April 2009.

Midwest: Existing-home sales rose 9.9 percent in April to a pace of 1.33 million and are 29.1 percent above a year ago. The median price was $146,400, up 5.8 percent from April 2009.

South: Existing-home sales increased 8.6 percent to an annual level of 2.14 million in April and are 23.0 percent higher than April 2009. The median price was $150,000, up 1.2 percent from a year ago.

West: Existing-home sales fell 6.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million in April but are 5.2 percent above a year ago. The median price was $212,400, up 3.8 percent from April 2009.

— NAR

Browse all of today's news
E-mail this page to a friend
Give us feedback

Search news
Launch my search
 
Subscribe to news
Subscribe to News
Daily and weekly real estate news, trends, NAR press releases, convention coverage, plus exclusive features and columns.

RSS Feed
Get the Daily Real Estate News delivered straight to your desktop or news aggregator. (New to RSS? Learn the basics here.)
 
 
SHARE YOUR INSIGHTS
How did you sell it?
Tell us how you overcame hurdles to sell a challenging or very unique listing!