US Home Sales Increase for the First Time in 2014
Real estate experts all across the country were thrilled to hear the latest numbers on the national housing market recently.
That’s because sales of existing U.S. homes showed a slight increase between March and April, reversing a 12-month trend in which home purchases had been dropping.
This wasn’t the only good news that the National Association of Realtors had to share, either.
Experts Encouraged By Recent Sales Data for National Housing Market
Here are some of the highlights of the recent report from the National Association of Realtors:
- Home sales increased 1.3 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million.
- The purchase of homes over the last 12 months had dropped 6.8 percent before April’s numbers were released.
- The majority of gains were concentrated in the condominium market, which saw 7.3 percent growth.
- Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes were up 0.5 percent during the month of April.
- Still, home buying is significantly below its 2013 rate, which is when 5.1 million existing homes were purchased. And that’s still far below the 5.5 million rate that usually indicates a healthy market.
- Median home prices increased 5.2 percent to $201,700 in April, which was the slowest increase since March 2012.
- Home buying increased in the West and the South, although they mostly decreased in the Midwest and remained flat in the Northeast.
- Home sales continued to decrease for homes priced below $250,000, although they continued to increase for those homes priced above $750,000.
- First time home buyers represented 29 percent of all sales, which is far below the historical average of 40 percent.
- Average rates for fixed, 30-year mortgages were around 4.2 percent recently, compared to 3.51 percent a year ago.
Experts say that sales may have been higher had it not been for a few confounding factors, such as snowstorms and brutal cold weather in the Midwest and Northeast during the first couple of months of 2014.
Other factors include higher home prices and rising interest rates.
Still, experts remain optimistic. For instance, the April report indicated that more home sellers are listing their properties on the market. In fact, the market has a 5.9 month supply of homes right now, which is up from 5.2 a year ago.
Keeping You Informed on National Developments
We love getting the opportunity to share some positive news about the national housing market with you and we hope you’re as encouraged by the recent data as we are.
Check back here soon for more updates on the current state of the national housing market and how it may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller.
Janis Peterson, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP
Main Line Homes Luxury Real Estate Agent