APRIL HOME SALES UP

Existing-home sales rose in April according to the National Association of Realtors®. All regions are showing strong price gains from a year ago.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in April.  Resale activity is 9.7 percent above the 4.53 million-unit level in April 2012.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market is solidly recovering.  “The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory.  Without these frictions, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5-million unit pace,” he said.  “Buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago, but sales are running only about 10 percent higher.”

Nationally existing-home sales are at the highest pace since November 2009 when the market spiked to 5.44 million in response to the home buyer tax credit. Total sales have been above year-ago levels for 22 consecutive months, while prices show 14 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.

The national median existing-home price was $192,800 in April, up 11.0 percent from April 2012.

Existing home sales this April for the State of Maine showed a 14.6% increase over last year with a 4.5% increase in the median sale price to %176,200..  Penobscot County’s increase was $17.2% with a nominal 1% increase in median sale price.

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April Housing Survey

The results of April’s Fannie Mae National Housing Survey showed more that half of American’s now expect the country’s home prices to climb within the next year. Those who said prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10 percent for the fo

The results of April’s Fannie Mae National Housing Survey showed more that half of American’s now expect the country’s home prices to climb within the next year.  Those who said prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10 percent for the fourth month in a row.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,001 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home,  rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.

“For the first time in the survey’s three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Crossing the 50 percent threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country.”

With wide spread optimism the percent of those surveyed saying that now is a good time to sell rose 4% in April to 30% compared to 15% last year.  This optimism bodes well for continued improvement in the housing market as recent data shows that fie out of eight people who buy have to sell first.

Thirty nine percent of survey participants said the economy is on the right tract, an increase of 4 percentage points over March.

April Housing Scorecard: Values Rise and Sales Remain Strong

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released the April edition of the Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest data show important progress.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  released the April edition of the Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest data show important progress —as home values continue to rise and home sales remained strong in April—although officials caution that the overall recovery remains fragile.

HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for  Economic Affairs, Kurt Usowski said, “The annual increase in home prices is the highest in nearly seven years and sales of existing and new homes are both up over 10 percent from one year ago…”

Sales in Maine for the month of April were up nearly 14% over the same period last year with an increase in the median sale price of just under 4%.

Cumberland County and the Portland Area had the best showing with a 30% increase in the number of single family homes sold and a 48% increase in the dollar volume of solds.
The County’s median sale price increased nearly 12% above April 2012.

Similar results for April of this year occurred in Penobscot County except a more modest increase in the median sale price of just under  2%.  The number of home sales in the County increased 26% with a 25% increase in the dollar volume.