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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home Sales Edged Up in April

Buyers are snapping up homes at a fast pace in the Northeast and Midwest, but a shortage of homes for sale caused pending home sales to decline in the West and South, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which measures home sales on their way to the closing table, rose 0.3% in April and was 10.3% higher than April 2012.

The last time homes were selling this fast was April 2010, right before the federal homebuyer tax credit ended. Pending sales have been above year-ago levels for the past 24 months.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said a familiar pattern has developed. “The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions. Pending contracts so far this year easily correspond to higher closed home sales in 2013,” he said.

He expects total existing-home sales to rise more than 7% to about 5 million this year.

“Because of inventory shortages, higher home sales will push up home values to the highest level in five years,” Yun said.

NAR predicts the national median existing-home price will exceed $190,000 this year, a leap of close to 8%.

Regional Pending-Home Sales

April’s regional pending-homes sales compared with a year ago:
  • Northeast: Jumped 11.5%, up 17.7%.
  • Midwest: Rose 3.2%, up 15.1%.
  • South: Slipped 1.1%, up 12.3%.
  • West: Fell 7.6%, down 2.6%.
Source: National Association of Realtors

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