U.S. Previously Owned Home Sales Climb to Three-Month High


Sales of previously owned homes increased in April to a three-month high, led by a surge in the Midwest and indicating further improvement in the housing market during the busy spring-selling season, National Association of Realtors data showed Friday.

Key Points

  • Contract closings rose 1.7 percent to a 5.45 million annual rate (forecast was 5.4 million)
  • Purchases climbed 4.9 percent from April 2015, before seasonal adjustment
  • Median price of an existing home rose 6.3 percent from April 2015 to $232,500, the highest since June 2015
  • Sales in the Midwest jumped 12.1 percent to a 1.39 million pace, the strongest since December 2006; purchases were also up in the Northeast
  • Inventory of available properties dropped 3.6 percent from April 2015 to 2.14 million units

Big Picture

The increase caps a six-month period of greater-than-usual volatility in purchases and may indicate that the housing industry is returning to a more stable growth path on the back of solid hiring and cheap borrowing costs. At the same time, limited inventory is keeping prices elevated, while first-time buyers have been slow to enter the market, curbing housing’s contribution to economic growth…

U.S. Previously Owned Home Sales Climb to Three-Month High

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