NAM: April existing home sales rose by 9.7 percent
The Wall Street Journal (5/23, Portlock, Zibel, Subscription Publication) reports that April’s existing home sales were at the highest level since August 2008; in addition, the number of foreclosures which were sold fell.
The AP (5/23) reports that according to the NAR, existing home “sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, up from 4.94 million in March.”
USA Today (5/23, Schmit) reports that compared to March, home sales in April were 0.6% higher; data also show the housing inventory increased by 12% in April, expanding “to a 5.2-month supply from 4.7 months in March,” meaning that “all the homes would sell in that time-frame if no new supply was added.”
Bloomberg News (5/23, Woellert) reports that the figures were slightly lower than experts had predicted. “The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for U.S. sales of existing homes to pick up to a 4.99 million pace.”
The Los Angeles Times (5/23, Lazo) quote NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun as saying, “The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory.”
CNN Money (5/23, Isidore) reports the median home price in April was $242,600.
Low Housing Inventory Contributing To Higher Prices. Meg Handley writes in the US News & World Report (5/23) “The Home Front” blog, “With the inventory of existing houses for sale still almost 14 percent below levels recorded this time last year, median home prices continued to climb in April,” the NAR said on Wednesday. The piece goes on to note what types of homes are available for the median price of about $193,000 in markets such as Washington, DC, Austin, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio.
Home Sales Showing Improvement. In the Wall Street Journal (5/23) “Developments” blog, Nick Timiraos says that the NAR data are good news for housing, indicating improvement for the sector. He notes that higher sales, fewer distressed sales, higher inventory, and faster sales are all encouraging signs.