Existing Home Sales In Recovery
Existing-home sales rose 3.4% m-o-m in April to an adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, which is 10% higher than April 2011’s rate. Home prices continued to rise, as the median home price gained 10.1% from year-ago levels. “This is the first time we’ve had back-to-back price increases from a year earlier since June and July of 2010 when the gains were less than one percent,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said. “For the year we’re looking for a modest overall price gain of 1.0 to 2.0 percent, with stronger improvement in 2013.”
Yun added, “It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions. A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices,” he said. “The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”
Total housing inventory at the end of April jumped 9.5% from the previous month to 2.54 million existing homes for sale or a 6.6-month supply. However, listed inventory is down 20.6% below April 2011 levels.
Distressed homes sales went down 1% from March to 28% of total sales and dropped 9% from April 2011. Interest rates remain low, with the average 30-year rate down to 3.91%, dropping slightly from 3.95% in March.
Single-family home sales were up 3.0% m-o-m to an SAAR of 4.09 million, which is 9.9% higher than last year. Home prices for single-family homes gained 10.4% y-o-y. Existing condo and co-op sales jumped 6% monthly to a rate of 30,000 in April, which is 10.4% above year-ago levels. By region, sales increased from March the most in the Northeast (+5.1%), followed by the West (+4.4%), South (+3.5%), and lastly the Midwest (+1%).
Source: National Association of Realtors