Posted: 25 May 2010 07:45 AM PDT
Sales of existing homes rose in April, buoyed by an expiring home buyer tax credit and exceptionally low mortgage rates.
As compared to March, April's Existing Home Sales rose by 410,000 units nationwide -- the second straight month of large gains. An "existing home" is a home resold by a prior owner (i.e. not new construction).
It's a solid report for housing overall, with rising sales suggesting that the real estate market's recovery is ongoing. However, the data presented a mixed message.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, although the number of homes sold ticked higher in April, so did the supply of existing homes for sale, too.
Sellers are now listing homes faster than buyers can buy them.
After adding another 0.3 months of supply in April, resale home supply is nearly two full months larger than at November 2009's low-point. This put downward pressure on home prices.
Furthermore, because 49% of April's buyers were first-time buyers and the tax credit has since ended, we can expect that sellers will continue to outweigh buyers in the months ahead.
It presents an interesting opportunity for June's home buyers. Mortgage rates are still at their lowest levels of the year -- despite expert predictions to the contrary -- and homes remain affordable. Plus, in a lot of markets, home values have started to creep higher.
There's good values and good rates but neither should last long. For the next few weeks, real estate may be in its 2010 sweet spot.
If you were thinking of moving in September of this year or later, consider moving up your timeframe.
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