According to recently released statistics from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), existing-home sales rose 3.4 percent in April and remain above a year ago, while at the same time, home prices continued to increase.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in April; this is 10 percent higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011. Additionally, improvements in sales and prices were broad based across all regions.
According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, the latest numbers indicate that a housing recovery is well underway. Yun stresses this recovery is not just being fueled by investors looking to profit from rental income, but also by individual occupant buyers.
“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,” adds Yun. Decreasing foreclosure inventory is helping home values stabilize and increase in some areas, sparking multiple-offer scenarios.
According to NAR, the national median existing-home price for all housing types jumped 10.1 percent in April from a year ago, following a 3.1 percent increase in March. This marks the first back-to-back price increase since June and July of 2010 when the gains were less than one percent.