Existing Home Sales – April Report

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Home Sales Pace

HomeSalesPace 0412 Existing Home Sales   April Report

After a slight uptrend, sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing home sales dipped 0.9 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million units from an upwardly revised 4.63 million in January. Sales were 8.8 percent higher than February 2011 figures, however.

“The market is trending up unevenly, with record high consumer buying power and sustained job gains giving buyers the confidence they need to get into the market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

And NAR president Moe Veissi added “supply and demand have become more balanced in more markets, but with tight supply in the lower price ranges – particularly in the West. When markets are balanced, we normally see prices rise one to two percentage points above the rate of inflation, but foreclosures and short sales are holding back median prices.”

And NAR president Moe Veissi added “supply and demand have become more balanced in more markets, but with tight supply in the lower price ranges – particularly in the West. When markets are balanced, we normally see prices rise one to two percentage points above the rate of inflation, but foreclosures and short sales are holding back median prices.”

The NAR defines existing homes as all previously-owned single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops. The group “seasonally adjusts” the sales numbers to factor in things like inclement weather, school sessions, winter holidays, etc. to smooth out the trends.

The NAR also describes its sales data based on an annual pace. The monthly figure represents the total number of housing units that would be sold in one year if the current rate were to continue unchanged.

Sales Pace by Region

Regionally, sales gains in the Midwest and South were offset by declines in the Northeast and West.

In the Northeast, sales fell 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 580,000 from 600,000 in January, but were up 5.5 percent from the previous year.

Midwest existing-home sales grew 1.0 percent in February to an annual pace of 1.02 million from 1.01 million. On a yearly basis, sales were up 13.3 percent.

In the South, sales rose 0.6 percent to 1.77 million from 1.76 million homes the month before, and are up 9.3 percent from February 2011.

Sales in the West decreased 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million homes from 1.26 million in January. Since February 2011, sales have risen 6.1 percent.

Home Prices

OneYearMedianPriceChange 0412 Existing Home Sales   April Report

The median home price, the point at which half of all homes are sold for more and half are sold for less, rose everywhere but the Midwest on a monthly basis.

In the Northeast, the median price inched up to $225,800 from $225,700 in January, but it was down 1.9 percent over the previous year.

The median price in the Midwest declined to $120,500 in February from $122,000, and was down 0.5 percent from the year earlier.

In the South, home prices increased to a median of $138,100 from $134,800 in January, and it was up 1.8 percent from last year.

In the West, the median price grew to $195,300 from $187,100 in January, and rose 3.1 percent from February 2011.

HousingInventory 0412 Existing Home Sales   April Report

Inventory

After falling for four months, total existing-home inventory rose 4.3 percent in February to 2.43 million homes for sale. It was still 19.3 percent below last year level, however. The housing stock represents a 6.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6.0-month supply in January.

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