Existing-home sales rose in April with buyers motivated by the tax credit, improving consumer confidence and affordable pricing, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units in April from an upwardly revised 5.36 million in March. The April figures are 22.8 percent higher than the 4.70 million-unit pace in April 2009. Monthly sales rose 7 percent in March.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the gain was widely anticipated.
"The upswing in April existing-home sales was expected because of the tax credit inducement, and no doubt there will be some temporary fallback in the months immediately after it expires, but other factors also are supporting the market," he said. "For people who were on the sidelines, there's been a return of buyer confidence with stabilizing home prices, an improving economy and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low."
Local sales jumped a little more than 30 percent in April, again due to the tax credit, and brokers think May and June numbers will be higher than normal as credit deadline deals continue to filter through the system.