NAR: Housing recovery has begun

The National Association of Realtors today announced some good news out of the housing market as existing home sales rose 10 percent in April.

Existing home sales, which are made up of completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units in April, according to the NAR.

That number is up slightly from 4.47 million units in March and up 10 percent from April 2011.

“It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices. The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”

Home prices also were on the rise in April. The national median existing home price for all housing types jumped to $177,400 in April, up 10.1 percent from a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 5.1 percent to an annual level of 620,000 in April and are 19.2 percent higher than a year ago.  The median price in the Northeast was $256,600, up 8.8 percent from April 2011.

NAR: Housing recovery has begun