May 18, 2012 (Jeff Alan)
Home purchases were primarily flat from March to April, but still beat the previous year’s tally for the tenth consecutive month, while home prices continued to gain strength, exceeding the previous year’s prices for the third consecutive month according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR).
Closed transactions of home purchases increased a modest 0.1 percent from March to April but were 4.1 percent higher than in April 2011, the tenth consecutive month home sales have increased year-over-year.
Thirty-nine out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions, up from 33 metro areas in March. Milwaukee, WI (+38.4%), Albuquerque, NM (+30.2%), Nashville, TN (+26.2%), Providence, RI (+21.7%), Des Moines, IA (+21.4%), and Chicago, IL (+19.8%) recorded the highest year-over-year gains in closed transactions in April. In all, 18 metro areas saw double digit increases.
The median sales price of homes sold in April was 3.2 percent higher than in the previous month of March, increasing from $184,525 to $190,110. The median sales price was 5.9 percent higher than the median price of $179,386 in April of 2011. It was the third consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 18 months of declines.
Forty-three of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in April than they did a year earlier, up from 36 metro areas the previous month. The areas that posted the largest price gains during the month were Phoenix, AZ (+25.4%), Detroit, MI (+25.4%), Miami, FL (+24.0%), Denver, CO (+15.0%), Omaha, NE (+14.9%), and Tampa, FL (+14.7%).
The average number of days it took to sell a home in April was 96, five days less than in March. The average month’s supply of inventory in April was 5.3, unchanged from March and down from a 7.1 months supply of homes in April 2011.
Housing supplies continued to dwindle with the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declining by 3.7 percent from March and 25.2 percent from April 2011. It was the 22nd consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.
Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC., stated, “It’s encouraging to see several improving economic and housing indicators, which are pointing to a continuing real estate recovery. While home prices are still low and interest rates remain at historically low levels, it’s likely that many more potential homebuyers will leave the sidelines and jump into this market.”
Tags: home sales, home prices, seasonal trends, closed transactions, median sales price