An April 2012 report by the National Board of Realtors, or NAR, shows that after two months on the downside, sales of existing US homes were up by 10.0% from one year ago. The NAR defines existing home sales or units sold, as previously owned single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops.
More good news for sellers is that in many parts of the country, home prices continued to rise for the third month in a row. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for the NAR observed, “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.” Yun also noted that, “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 seller’s market.”
The exception to this encouraging trend was that foreclosures sold on average, at 21% below their market value. The same held true in the case of short sales, which sold for an average of 14% below their market value.
Back to the good news-from one year ago, the median selling price increased by an average of sixteen thousand dollars per unit sold. Specifically, median home prices in April 2012 rose to $177,400 as opposed to last April’s figure of $161,100. Overall sales showed an increase of 12.3% from the March 2012 totals. Here is a look at the regional figures:
- Northeast – 52,000 homes sold, an increase of 20.9% from the prior month and an increase of 15.6% from the year before.
- Midwest – 89,000 homes sold, an increase of 8.5% from the prior month and an increase of 12.7% from the year before.
- South – 155,000 homes sold, an increase of 10.7% from the prior month and an increase of 4.7% from the year before.
- West – 104,000 homes sold, an increase of 9.5% from the prior month and an increase of 1.0% from the year before.
Other interesting observations from the NAR’s report showed that:
- First time home buyers accounted for 35% of the home sales for the month, up from 33% in March 2012.
- Investors were the buyers of 20% of the homes for April 2012, down from 21% the month before.
- Repeat home buyers were responsible for approximately 45% of April’s sales down from March 2012’s 46%.
- Cash buyers represented 29% of all sales for the month, down from 32% for the previous month.
There is also no denying that historically low mortgage rates have helped turn the tide and improve the housing markets in many areas. At American Financial Resources we deliver competitively priced home loan solutions to both home buyers and current homeowners. We recently began offering HARP home refinancing assistance based upon the updated HARP 2.0 guidelines. Of you are underwater on your mortgage and could benefit from a refinance, we might be able to help. Give us a call today at 800-634-8616 for a free quote and consultation. You can also check current mortgage rates using the Rate Quote Form on this page.