The spring home selling season appeared to have a strong start in April, according to the most recent existing home sales report released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
The Northeast showed an especially significant increase, jumping 5.1 percent to an annual level of 620,000 in April. This represented a 19.2 percent higher rate than a year ago. Additionally, the median price for existing home sales in the Northeast was $256,600, up 8.8 percent from April 2011.
According to the data, released May 22, 2012, total existing-home sales in the U.S. increased 3.4 percent and are 10.0 percent higher than they were in April 2011. Existing home sales refer to completed transactions on homes in the U.S., including single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops.
In addition to home sales increasing, home values and prices seem to be on the rise as well. According to the NAR report, this could be attributed to the fewer distressed home sales. Distressed homes, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 28% of April sales (17 percent were foreclosures and 11 percent were short sales), down from 29 percent in March and 37 percent in April 2011. As distressed property sales dwindle, home values inch upward.
Here are a few other report findings:
First-time buyers rose to 35 percent of purchasers in April from 33 percent in March; they were 36 percent in April 2011.
The median existing condo price was $172,900 in April, which is 8.1 percent above a year ago.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.91 percent in April from 3.95 percent in March; the rate was 4.84 percent in April 2011.
For more information, read the full press release here: http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/05/april-existing-home-sales-up-prices-rise-again