Could it really be good news for the housing market?
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issued its report on existing-home sales this week and reported that sales rose 3.4 percent — making the total so far 4.62 million homes, 10 percentage points higher than this time last year.
It’s not just for investors any more
NAR’s chief economist noted that “regular” consumers are once again entering the home-buying fray, bringing more balance to the beleaguered market:
“it is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions. A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices.
The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers' market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a sellers’ market.”
New home sales on the rise too
The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 3.3 percent. While compared year-over-year, sales this April were up 9.9 percent from the same month last year. Approximately 7.6 percent of home sales are new homes — especially as so many of previously owned homes are in distress and selling for far below market value.
Nonetheless, the median price for both new and previously owned homes rose in April, up 4.9 percent from April of 2011.