24
May
10

Sharp rise in existing home sales

Existing home sales soared in April as home buyers scrambled to claim the tax credit that expired at the end of the month, according to a real estate industry report released Monday.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales jumped 7.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units, up from the upwardly revised rate of 5.36 million in March. Sales year-over-year were up 22.8%.

The gain was widely anticipated, but still beat forecasts. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com were looking for resales in April to rise to an annual rate of 5.65 million units.

“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,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “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.”

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