National Association of REALTORS® Report of Housing Market.

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Existing-home sales posted the first rise of the year in April as inventory levels of for-sale homes also showed improvement, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Existing-home sales rose 1.3 percent in April compared to March, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million last month. Still, home sales are 6.8 percent below the 4.99 million-unit pace set in April 2013, NAR reports.

“Some growth was inevitable after subpar housing activity in the first quarter, but improved inventory is expanding choices and sales should generally trend upward from this point,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Annual home sales, however, due to a sluggish first quarter will likely be lower than last year.”

An Overview of Key Indicators

Inventory levels: Housing inventories soared 16.8 percent in April, reaching a 5.9-month supply at the current sales pace. That is up from a 5.1-month supply in March. Unsold inventory is 6.5 percent higher than a year ago. “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 says. “More inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions.”

Home prices: The median existing-home price was $201,700 in April – 5.2 percent higher than year ago levels. “Current price data suggests a trend of slower growth, which bodes well for preserving favorable affordability conditions in much of the country,” Yun says.

Distressed sales: The decrease continues in distressed homes, which includes foreclosures and short sales. Distressed homes accounted for 15 percent of April sales, down from 18 percent a year ago, NAR reports. Broken out, in April, 10 percent of sales were foreclosures and 5 percent were short sales.

Time on market: For the fourth consecutive month, homes sold faster. Four out of 10 homes nationwide sold in less than a month in April. The median time on the market for all homes was 48 days in April, down from 55 days in March.

In the South here’s how existing-home sales and prices fared in April,  rose 1 percent to an annual level of 1.94 million in April, but remain 3.5 percent below year ago levels. Median price: $173,200, up 3.2 percent from April 2013 levels.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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America – The Real Estate Market Is Back!

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Realtors will tell you that the market is improving.  But what exactly changed to drive American’s back to the real estate market?  Americans’ outlook on the economy is improving and they’re ready to make more purchases, especially regarding real estate. The latest Pulte Group Home Index Survey discovered 67% of the 1,004 adults surveyed say they plan to purchase a home in the upcoming future.

Overall, the two main drivers to buying are the need for more space and the view that owning a home is a smart financial investment.

The survey found that the most engaged consumer segments are the Millennials and move-up buyers. 85%of Millennials and 71% of move-up buyers say they intend to purchase a home in the future, according to the index. 50% of those aged 55 and older said they’re looking to purchase a home in the future.

70% of home shoppers say they intend to spend more—or as much—money on their next home, not only to increase the size of the home but also to upgrade the finishes. 64% say they prefer to spend more on a home that’s move-in ready, rather than spend less and then renovate a home.

“For the first time in years, Americans have a growing sense of optimism that the housing market is improving, and that these positive changes may be sustainable,” says Margaret Gramann, senior vice president of sales for Pulte Group, Inc.  “This favorable outlook is giving them the confidence to pursue more meaningful, big-picture life opportunities they may have otherwise put on hold.”

 

Source – Pulte Group