Housing Market

Existing home sales rise in April for first time in 2014

Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New HomeData released on Thursday by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales increased for the first time this year in April, accompanied by rising inventory and moderate home prices.

Total existing home sales—completed transactions including single-family homes, townhouses and co-ops—rose 1.3 percent to approximately 4.7 million in April, up from approximately 4.6 million in March, though the figure is still below five million last year.

The South and West saw gains during the month—one and five percent increases, respectively. Existing home sales in the Midwest fell one percent, while sales in the Northeast remained unchanged.

“Some growth was inevitable after sub-par housing activity in the first quarter, but improved inventory is expanding choices and sales should generally trend upward from this point,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Annual home sales, however, due to a sluggish first quarter, will likely be lower than last year.”

Total inventory at the end of the month jumped by 16.8 percent to approximately 2.3 million existing homes— an approximate supply of six months, at the current sales pace.

“We’ll continue to see a balancing act between housing inventory and price growth, which remains stronger than normal simply because there have not been enough sellers in many areas,” Yun said. “More inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions.”

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