Existing home sales jump 7.6% (Natalie Ransom)

May 25, 2010

Taken from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Natalie Ransom, Buckhead Office, REALTOR®

Natalie Ransom, Buckhead Office, REALTOR®

Sales of existing homes in April were up 7.6 percent in March, led not only by the homebuyer tax credit, but by improving consumer confidence and favorable affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 22.8 percent.

In the NAR’s South region, which includes Georgia, existing home sales increased 8.6 percent and were up 23 percent from a year earlier. The median price in the region was up 1.2 percent to $150,000.

“The upswing in April existing-home sales was expected because of the tax credit inducement, and no doubt there will be some temporary fallback in the months immediately after it expires, bit other factors are supporting the market, said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “For people who were on the sidelines, there’s been a return of buyer confidence with stabilizing home prices, an improving economy and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low.”

While sales rose sharply nationally, the number of homes on the market also rose, with total housing inventory at the end of April up 11.5 percent.

The NAR also notes rising prices, saying median existing home prices were up 4 percent from April 2009. Foreclosures and other distressed sales accounted for 33 percent of sales in April.

The biggest jump in April prices was for condos and co-ops, up 9.1 percent from the previous month, according to the NAR.

The biggest month-over-month increase in sales regionally was in the Northeast, surging 21.1 percent.


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