Existing home sales accelerated 3.4% in April to an annual pace of 4.6 million units, up from the 4.5 million units reported in March. After falling in March, home sales are now back near the rapid pace set in January. January’s pace was the strongest since mid-2010. April’s pace is 10% faster than at this time last year.
April’s increase in sales was broad based, with all regions reporting improved sales. The gains ranged from 5.1% in the Northeast, to 1.0% in the Midwest.
The supply of existing homes on the market increased 9.5% to 6.6 months, its highest level since November. A surge in homes listed for sale drove the inventory up despite the faster pace. April’s growth in listings is the strongest one month gain since 2006, indicating that homeowners are beginning to gain confidence in the market.
House prices rose notably in April, with median home price rising 10.1% to $177,400. Home price appreciation is being driven by a declining share of distressed homes sold. According to the NAR, the share of distressed sales fell from 37% one year ago to 28% in April.
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