Home sales continue to rise in April, according to the latest information on the housing recovery offered from an industry trade group.
The National Association of Realtors reported home sales climbed up 0.6 percent to annual rate of just under 5 million homes. Compared to last year, the pace of sales was up almost 10 percent.
The pace of sales would have surpassed this level if it were not for insufficient supply and tight credit, the group claimed.
“Without these impediments, existing home sales would have been well above the 5 million unit pace,” said the group‘s chief economist Mr. Lawrence Yun. He also said that customer traffic is up 31 percent compared to 2012, revealing greater demand than actual sales.
The recovery in the housing market thus far this year has been a major driver of economic growth, lifting not just the pace of home construction but also retail sales. Near record low mortgage rates paired with improving unemployment figures, a significant drop in foreclosures and a tighter supply of homes for sale have all contributed to lift home prices.
The housing report released today underscores these trends: the median price of a home sold last month was $242,600, which is up 4 percent from March and 9 percent from last year. Moreover, the number of homes on the market represents a 5 month supply at the current sales price. While this figure is up from March, it is down from a 6-month supply in 2012.
The percentage of home sales that are deemed distressed sales, meaning homes in foreclosure or short sales, now represents only 18 percent of total sales, which is down a significant 28 percent from last year.
The pace of new sales has been increasing every month for almost two years; the latest sales report is the strongest since November of 2009, when home sales were inflated by a short-term home buyer’s tax credit.