Both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Department of Commerce
(Census Bureau) /U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released figures
on Tuesday confirming that U.S. housing sales are continuing on a record
NAR announced that existing-home sales hit an all time record
high in April. Single-family home sales were up 4.5 percent
to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.28 million compared to the March figure
of 6.01 million. This was five percent above the sales rate in April 2004.
Total existing-house sales including condos, single-families, and co-ops were
also up 3.5 percent to an adjusted rate of 7.18 million. The March figure, however,
was revised downward to 6.87 million. April sales were 5.7 percent above figures
for one year ago.
Home prices also continued to climb. The median single-family
home sold for $203,800 in April, 15.1 percent higher than in April, 2004.
Housing inventory, however, was up five percent to 2.48 existing
homes, a 4.2 month supply at current sales levels.
NAR figures showed the strongest gains in the South where sales were up 7.4
percent from March and 8.3 percent higher than one year ago. The median single
family home price in the South was $176.00, up 8 percent from April 2004.
While April sales were not as strong in other regions of the country, price
increases since last year were even more dramatic. The median price in the Midwest
was up 12.9 percent from April 2004; the Northeast was up 15.2 percent and the
West came in with a median existing-home price of $305.000, up 21 percent from
one year earlier.
The joint Census Bureau/HUD report, which only deals with new home
sales, showed smaller increases since March but a continued strong
annual market increase. New house sales for April were at a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 1,316,000, a 0.1 percent increase from March, 2005, but 13.3
percent above the revised April 2004 estimate of 1,162,000.
The report stated a median sales price in April of $230,800 and an average
price of $283,500. The median sales price in March was $217,500, however, the
April average was unchanged from the March number.