Excellent News for Home Buyers: US Prices Stabilizing

Home Selling 6If you’ve been weighing whether now is the right time to enter the local housing market as a home buyer, we have some news to share with you that will help you decide.

According to a recent report from real estate data provider CoreLogic, U.S. home price gains are slowing down, despite an increase during the month of August.

This is great news for home buyers because it means that you have a fantastic opportunity to get a reasonable price on your next home before prices continue to rise!

What Every Home Buyer Should Know About Recent US Housing Market Activity

CoreLogic reported that home prices increased 6.4 percent in August when compared to last year.

Still, that figure is actually down slightly from the annual gain of 6.8 percent in July.

Here’s what else the recent housing market report revealed:

  • The increase in home prices is also down when compared to how much they had been rising toward the end of last year. During that time, prices were rising as much as 12 percent.
  • Home sales have been mostly stable throughout 2014, as have price gains.
  • All states showed home price gains during the month of August, save for Arkansas where prices were stagnate.
  • Home values rose 11.1 percent in Michigan, which led the pack. And values in California and Nevada came in second place with 9.2 percent.
  • In terms of specific cities, the Houston area saw home values increase 11.1 percent compared to the previous year. Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Riverside also saw large gains.
  • Home prices nationwide remain about 12.1 percent below their peak average in April 2006.
  • Home purchases decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August.
  • Home sales decreased from a July rate of 5.14 million.
  • Meanwhile, the pace of home sales dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Experts say that an annual sales rate of 5.5 million is considered a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price has increased 4.8 percent over the last 12 months to $219,800, although that average dropped slightly during the month of August when compared to July and June.

Experts say that most of any uptick in sales activity (and thus, values) on the national housing market would depend on wage growth. That’s because wages are currently neck-in-neck with inflation, making it hard for home buyers to increase in buying power.

Still, there’s hope on the horizon:

Although hourly wages have only increased 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, there are signs that that activity will pick up in 2015.

Use Recent Activity on the National Housing Market to Your Advantage

As you can see, the market has stabilized itself enough where you could purchase a home and get a pretty good return on your investment as values eventually continue to rise.

So if you’re thinking about investing in real estate anytime soon, now is the time to do so!

And be sure to check back here soon as we continue to discuss with you important real estate trends that impact you!

US Real Estate Market Sees 6-Year Home Sales High

US Home SalesWe’re breaking records on the U.S. housing market!

Evidently, during the month of August, national home sales reached their highest levels in more than six years, according to a recent report from the Commerce Department.

This is incredible! That means that sales activity has returned to the levels it was pre-bubble burst. And this spells great success for anyone interested in listing their home on the market.

A Closer Look at US Home Data

According to Commerce Department figures, new home sales jumped 18 percent to a 504,000 annualized rate, which is the strongest it’s been since May 2008.

Not only that, but this rate is even higher than the highest forecast made by a Bloomberg survey of economists.

This one-month increase shattered a 22-year record. That’s because the last time the US housing market saw a one-month increase this big was 1992.

Here’s what else the Commerce Department revealed in its report:

  • Economists surveyed in the Bloomberg report said the pace would increase between 405,000 and 455,000.
  • The median forecast of 74 economists was that the pace would increase 430,000.
  • The median sales price of a new house increased 8 percent year over year in August, to $275,600
  • Home purchases increased in three of four U.S. regions. The West led the group with a 50 percent jump.
  • The housing inventory (given the current sales rate) dropped to 4.8 months from 5.6 months in July.
  • There were 203,000 new houses on the market at the end of August.
  • Existing home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a 5.05 million annual pace last month. This occurred after existing home sales reached a 10-month high of 5.14 million in July.
  • Housing starts decreased 14.4 percent to a 956,000 annualized rate. This occurred after July’s 1.12 million pace was the strongest it’s been since November 2007.

Canada Home Sales See Encouraging Numbers as Well

  • Canadian national home sales increased 1.8 percent from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity were 2.1 percent above August 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes decreased 1.2 percent between July to August.
  • The MLS Home Price Index increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.
  • The national average sale price also increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.

Moving The US Real Estate Market Forward

Experts say that the housing market has been growing in fits and starts but that steady growth is what will be needed in the long-term to effectively stabilize the market.

Still, home sellers can be encouraged by these recent numbers as they do demonstrate that the market is headed in the right direction!

Check back here soon as we continue to watch the housing market, looking for trends that impact you as home buyers and sellers.

Report: Big Homes Are a Hot Trend on the National Real Estate Market

US Construction Big homes are a big deal on the national housing market, according to a recent article in USA Today.

Evidently, a growing number of home buyers are looking for larger homes to accommodate their every need and desire.

In fact, of the 569,000 homes built last year in the US, about 33 percent (or 188,000 homes) had three or more bathrooms. That’s the largest share since tracking of new construction homes started in 1987.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of last year’s total new homes (or 251,000 homes) featured four or more bedrooms – which is the largest share it’s been since 1973.

These homes also tend to come with a lot more amenities:

  • 53 percent of the homes built last year (301,000) had a patio
  • 63 percent (361,000) had a porch
  • And 22 percent (127,000) had a deck

It’s quite an interesting trend, especially given that at the same time, home ownership rates are remaining stable and the size of families and households is actually decreasing.

Let’s Take a Closer Look At This Recent U.S. Trend

Here are some recent real estate market statistics that will provide additional context on this trend:

  • The average square footage of new single-family homes in the United States jumped almost 57 percent to 2,598 in 2013, compared with 1,660 in 1973.
  • The Northeast boasts the second-highest average square footage, with that number jumping from 1,959 to 2,636 during that same time period. That’s an increase of 65 percent!
  • Meanwhile, the number of people actually living in these homes has continued to decrease. In fact, the average number of people per household in the US decreased from 3.01 in 1973 to 2.54 in 2013.
  • Specifically, families have decreased from 3.48 to 3.12 during that same time period.
  • As one might expect, bigger homes have caused a rise in the average sales price of new construction homes. In fact, that figure skyrocketed from $62,500 in 1978 to $324,000 in 2013.
  • The Northeast has the highest average sales price, which exploded from $63,000 in 1978 to $469,000 in 2013 – an increase of 646 percent.
  • Even within the short time frame of 2012 to 2013, sales prices still showed huge increases. For instance, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes jumped 20 percent – from $292,000 in 2012 to $324,000 in 2013.

Yet the income levels of individuals are not keeping pace with these bigger (and more expensive) homes. For instance, the median income in the US increased by 9 percent from 1978 to 2012 – from $56,975 to $62,241.

And the home ownership rate continued to decrease – from 65.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 65.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Experts say that those people in the higher income levels that are more active on the housing market. Maybe that’s why all-cash sales accounted for 42.7 percent of all U.S. residential property sales during the first quarter of 2014, up from 20 percent during the first quarter of 2011.

What Do You Make of This Recent Real Estate Trend?

We would love to hear your thoughts!

We certainly think that all of this market activity will have an overall positive impact on the U.S. real estate market.

For now, be sure to check back here soon for more valuable and up-to-date information that may impact you as a buyer or seller.

US Home Sales Outperform Real Estate Experts’ Previous Predictions

US Home Selling 2It’s always a good sign on the national housing market when sales activity is better than even the experts predicted!

And that’s exactly what happened recently when the latest market activity report was released by the National Association of Realtors in July.

Evidently, contracts to purchase previously-owned properties increased more than expected during the month of July, signaling that there truly is renewed momentum on the national housing market.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at The Numbers

According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, the pending home sales index increased 3.3 percent after a 1.3 percent decrease during the month of June.

That increase is much higher than previously expected. In fact, the median projection according to a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the index to increase about 0.5 percent. Specifically, estimates from 37 economists ranged from a decrease of 0.5 percent to an increase of 3 percent.

So why did the number of home sales do significantly better than previously predicted?

Experts credit the increase to a lot of factors, including:

  • Increased hiring
  • Rising property values
  • Historically low interest rates

Not only are these factors increasing home sales but they’re also encouraging builders to break more ground.

Other factors encouraging a more robust housing market include a gross domestic product that grew at a 4.2 percent pace during the second quarter as well as the fact that unemployment claims decreased to 298,000 last week.

Experts add that faster wage growth as well as easier access to credit would also help boost the local economy

More Housing Market Data That Will Help Provide Context

Still, not all of the news from the national housing market has been completely positive.

Here are some other highlights of the National Association of Realtors’ latest report:

  • Purchase contracts decreased 2.7 percent in the 12 months ending in July, which followed a 4.7 percent year-over-year decline in June.
  • July marked the 10th month of year-over-year declines
  • The pending sales index was 105.9 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
  • Pending sales increased in three of four regions. Specifically, sales were up 6.2 percent in the Northeast, 4.2 percent in the South and 4 percent in the West. Purchase contracts decreased 0.4 percent in the Midwest.
  • Resales increased to a 5.15 million pace, which is the best they’ve been since September.
  • Construction also rebounded, with starts climbing 15.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualized rate
  • Meanwhile, contracts on new homes dropped unexpectedly during the month of July to a 412,000 annualized pace, which is the weakest it’s been since March.
  • The average rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage was 4.10 percent in late August, down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year

Let’s Start Discussing Your Personal Real Estate Dream!s

Are you interested in listing your property soon and getting a great price for it? Or perhaps you want to find the home of your dreams but just don’t know where to start.

Regardless of what your real estate needs are, we’re here to help!

And please make sure to check back here next month as we continue to provide you with valuable information that will help you navigate the local housing market!

 

Report: Bigger is Better for National Home Buyers

US New Home ConstructionThe sluggish housing market over the last several years did not have an impact on Americans’ desire for bigger and fancier homes, according to a recent report from USA Today.

Evidently, demand continues to grow for these large estates, especially as the housing market across the nation improves.

This is a fascinating trend on the national housing market and one that is sure to impact both home buyers and sellers.

Americans Love to Own Large, Luxury Homes

The American Dream of owning a bigger and better home is still very much alive across the country.

In fact, as the recent USA Today article noted, many of today’s buyers still want a house that includes as many luxury amenities and features as they can think of – or at least afford.

This may include gourmet kitchens, deluxe bathrooms, spacious decks or screened-in porches.

While this is occurring, experts also note that homeownership rates have remained mostly stagnant. And income growth appears to be lagging behind the rising price of homes.

Meanwhile, the size of families and households continues to shrink, even though the houses themselves are getting bigger.

Experts say that this is because Americans still love the idea of owning a home that makes a statement about them, that demonstrates their status in society.

A Closer Look at This Housing Market Trend

Here is some relevant data on this housing market trend, based on US Census data:

  • The average square footage of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by nearly 57 percent, from 1,660 in 1973 to 2,598 square feet in 2013.
  • The Northeastern region of the country had the second-highest average square footage, which rose by 65 percent. Specifically, the square footage jumped from 1,959 to 2,636.
  • Meanwhile, the average number of people per household in the U.S. dropped from 3.01 in 1973 to 2.54 in 2013.
  • Specifically, families fell to 3.12 members from 3.48 during the same period of time.
  • As a result of the construction of larger homes, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. skyrocketed by 419 percent from $62,500 in 1978 to $324,500 in 2013.
  • Even if you consider inflation, that still quite a jump, experts say.
  • The Northeast is home to the highest average sales price, which increased by 646 percent from $63,000 in 1978 to $469,000 in 2013.
  • Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by 20 percent: from $292,000 to $324,500.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. homeownership rate continued to drop during the fourth quarter of 2013: from 65.4 during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 65.2 percent.

So What Do Home Owners Get With These Newly Built Homes?

A better question is: What don’t they get?

Here’s a breakdown of these new construction homes and what they offer to buyers:

  • Of the 569,000 homes built last year throughout the U.S., 188,000 (33 percent) contained three or more bathrooms.
  • Meanwhile, 251,000 (44 percent) of last year’s houses featured four or more bedrooms, which is the largest share since 1973..
  • Also, of the homes built last year, 301,000 (53 percent) came with a patio.
  • And 361,000 (63 percent) featured a porch.
  • Meanwhile 127,000 (22 percent) included a deck.
  • Another trend that experts are seeing is more finished basements for added space, according to the report.
  • These homes have mostly hovered around one and two stories, however, despite the increase in size. In fact, 233,000 (41 percent) of newly built homes last year were one story and 305,000 (54 percent) were two stories. Meanwhile, only 31,000 (5 percent) were three stories or more.

Follow Our Blog for More Valuable National Real Estate Data

Check back here soon for more pertinent information on the housing market and how it may impact you as a buyer or seller.

We’ve made it our goal to help you stay informed as you navigate the market. After all, the better informed you are, the better prepared you are for securing a successful outcome on the housing market.

Home Improvements That Pay Off When Selling Your Home

Home RemodelingNot all home remodeling projects are created equal – especially when you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes time to sell your property.

So before you spend thousands of dollars on that home remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about, make sure that you’re armed with the facts first.

Today, we’re going to tell you which of the most common home renovation projects are worth the investment, and which ones you’re better off doing without. The answers may surprise you.

Roofs and New Siding: Not Very Glamorous but Quite Impactful

Remodeling Magazine reports that you’re more likely to recoup your investment on such features as your roof or your siding than you are on bathroom or kitchen remodels.

In fact, siding replacement recouped 92.8 percent of its investment while roof replacements recouped 90 percent or more at resale.

Roof replacement appears to be most important to buyers in the east, with home owners recouping an average 96.3 percent of the cost. In the Midwest, that average return was around 71.1 percent.

That’s because home buyers care more about the overall structure of the home than they do about an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

What’s more, a recently replaced roof or new siding tells buyers that their maintenance costs are going to be low to non-existent for the first few years. And it’s impossible to understate how important that is to buyers.

Kitchens: A Sound Investment or Not?

The consensus is unanimous: Kitchen remodels are an excellent way to spend your home renovation dollars – but only if you don’t spend too much out the gate.

In fact, minor kitchen remodels (in the ballpark of $15,000 or less) returned 92.9 percent of the investment. That number dropped off on bigger remodeling projects in the kitchen.

Some features to focus on in the kitchen include all wood cabinets, commercial-looking appliances, stone floors and stone counter tops.

How About Bathrooms?

Bathrooms are also a fantastic place to invest your home remodeling dollars. Often, home owners are pleasantly surprised to discover that they get a 100 percent plus return on their investment.

For instance, a $9,400 bathroom remodel in Baltimore recently recouped 182 percent of its cost at resale.

Some features that you may want to focus on during a bathroom remodel include floor-to-ceiling steam showers and walk-in showers.

And if you only have one bathroom in your home, spend your money on adding a second bathroom instead of remodeling the only bathroom you have.

Don’t Forget To Consider Your Home’s Curb Appeal!

People often focus their remodeling dollars on the inside of the home but the exterior is just as important – if not more so.

After all, a potential home buyer will form an opinion about your home before they ever step foot inside.

Perhaps that’s why adding siding is such a sound investment when you look at the return you could get at resale.

Another way to make sure your home has adequate curb appeal is by adding a front porch or other architectural features to make your home more inviting.

Give Buyers Extra Room to Grow

Finally, consider adding another room to your home during a remodeling project.

We’ve already talked about the benefits of adding a bathroom. But the same principles hold true for other room additions as well.

In fact, for every 1,000 square feet added to a home, your sales price will increase by more than 30 percent, according a 2005 National Association of Realtors study.

One caveat to this rule: Don’t add so much extra space that your home becomes the most expensive home in the neighborhood. That’s a sure way to turn off home buyers.

Just a Few More General Notes About Home Remodels

RS1551_shutterstock_983846-lprRegardless of what type of project you select, remember that the following factors will also help determine your return on investment:

  • The Value of Your Home
  • The Value of the Homes in Your Neighborhood
  • The Housing Market You’re Located In
  • How Soon You Sell Your Home After the Home Improvement Project
  • The Quality of the Home Improvement Project

Your #1 Resource for Real Estate Trends and News

Hopefully you learned something today about home remodeling projects and how much they really benefit you as a prospective home seller.

Make sure to follow our blog to receive the latest updates on real estate trends like these and how they may impact you.

Have a great day!

Report: US Home Sales Increased Sharply in May

US Home Sales InformationIt’s certainly a headline we like to see around here: “US Home Purchase Contracts Have Seen a Significant Increase.”

And in fact, that’s exactly what The Associated Press recently reported.

This is great news, especially given that – so far this year – the pace of buying is slower than in 2013. A lot of this can be attributed to the harsh winter that kept many home buyers inside.

But as the recent report indicates, spring and summer sales activity may ultimately compensate for those sluggish winter months.

It’s Not Just Sales Contracts Enjoying Favorable Conditions

Here’s a full report of what the National Association of Realtors recently revealed:

  • Its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May.
  • That marks the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
  • The index is still, however, 5.2 percent below the level it was at a year ago.
  • Experts believe that lower mortgage rates and an increased home inventory drove much of May’s gains.
  • All four U.S. regions (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West) saw increases in signed purchase contracts

Meanwhile, in a different report released by the Association, completed sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes.

Still, it’s worth noting that sales are down 5 percent year over year.

The association predicts that sales of existing homes will decrease 2.8 percent this year to 4.95 million. That’s compared to 5.1 million in 2013.

In terms of new homes, sales increased 18.6 percent in May to an annual rate of 504,000. That’s the highest level since May 2008.

Why Are Things Showing Improvement Now?

Of course, it helps that we’re still in the spring and summer home buying market.

But another key factor is the removal of two previous obstacles: Rising mortgage rates and a low supply of available homes for sale.

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.17 percent recently. Before, it had been at 4.20 percent and higher. Still, rates are roughly 0.25 percent higher than they were at this time last year.

Meanwhile, the supply of homes has increased. By 2.2 percent in May to 2.28 million. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago, helping to fuel increased activity on the market!

How Can You Expect This to Affect You?

If you’re a home seller, the recent flurry of activity should give you confidence that you too will be able to sell your property and in a reasonable amount of time as well.  But one things that will decide that is working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the market.

And if you’re a home buyer purchasing a property on the local housing market, the recent activity suggests that you’re in good company – with more and more people entering the market to invest in property!

Always Here To Give You The National Real Estate 411!

What other valuable information would you like to learn about the real estate market in order to make your transaction easier? We will be happy to supply you with all of the insight you need!

Contact us today for valuable real estate advice today!

And make sure to check back to our website soon for more pertinent information that affects you!

US Home Sales See Second Consecutive Month of Increases in May

US Home SalesOne month of positive real estate sales is encouraging, but sometimes it can be a fluke.

That’s why we’re always so thrilled when positive numbers one month carry over into the next month.

And that’s just what we saw with the recent release of May sales numbers.

According to a recent USA Today article, existing home sales increased for the second straight month in May, increasing to their strongest rate since the fall.

More Details Emerge About the Current State of the US Housing Market

Here’s what the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors revealed: Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, which marks a 4.9 percent increase from April’s rate of 4.66 million.

This was the highest monthly percentage gain since August 2011!

And this wasn’t the only indicator that the market is improving. In fact, metrics across the board hinted at growth on the national housing market:

  • Sales prices also showed marked increases. Specifically, the median existing home price was $213,400 in May, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, sales of homes priced at $1 million and above increased everywhere but the Midwest
  • Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 2.2 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago.
  • At May’s sales rate, there’s a 5.6-month supply of homes for sale, which is close to the 6-month inventory that’s considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

Of course, some obstacles still remain on the market.

For instance, sales are still weaker than they were a year ago, when the annualized sales rate was 5.15 million.
And through May, sales were down 8.2 percent from the first five months of last year.

What’s more, the market continues to be difficult for those home buyers with modest financial resources, particularly first-time buyers. Consequently, these home buyers’ share of sales decreased to 27 percent in May, down 2 percent from April 2013.

And although single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent from April, they’re also down 5.7 percent from a year ago.

Still, real estate experts across the country remain optimistic.

They agree that at least three factors will continue to encourage growth and improvement on the national housing market:

  • More homes are being listed on the market
  • Home prices are rising more slowly than in 2013
  • Mortgage rates have declined recently

All of these factors will drive more and more home buyers to the market, further encouraging a healthy and stable real estate market.

Count on Us for Reliable National Real Estate Data!

We hope you ‘ve learned something useful about recent  national real estate trends and how they may affect you locally.

Check back here on July 15 as we continue to provide you with useful and up-to-date housing market information that is relevant to you!

Baby Boomers Setting New Trend on National Real Estate Market: All Cash Deals

Baby Boomer home buyers As more Baby Boomers retire, real estate experts all across the United States are seeing more cash deals, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.

Evidently, these Baby Boomers (defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964) are opting to purchase their homes with all cash instead of taking out a mortgage.

Experts credit this in part to the fact that US home price gains have restored $3.8 trillion in value to home owners since 2012.

This means that a record number of Americans (including Baby Boomers) are using that equity to help them pay cash for properties, avoiding a home loan altogether.

Another factor is that these Baby Boomers have more money in savings, allowing them the option to pay with cash.

This is an important trend that is sure to have an effect on all home buyers, not just those who fall in the Baby Boomer cohort.

More Revealed on This Recent National Real Estate Trend

Here’s what else the recent Bloomberg article noted about Baby Boomers affecting real estate trends:

  • In the first quarter, 29 percent of non-investment home buyers used cash.
  • Most of the people making all-cash deals are Baby Boomers, mostly because this generation is starting to retire.
  • For instance, in 2012, there were 61.8 million Americans over the age of 60, according to the Census. In 2000, that figure was 46.6 million.
  • Home mortgage lending dropped to $115 billion during the first quarter, which is the lowest it’s been in three years
  • Meanwhile, in the first three months of 2014, buyers paid $105.1 billion of their own money for properties, compared with $84.7 billion the year before.
  • And the percentage of purchases made by investors (who are typically associated with all-cash deals) fell to the lowest first-quarter level since 2010.
  • About 16.3 million Americans over the age of 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, according to Census data. In 2009, that number was 12.1 million.
  • About 39 percent of Baby Boomers want to retire to a rural community, such as a farm or a small town, according to a Better Homes poll.
  • About 27 percent want to move to an active adult community that offers activities like rock climbing and yoga.
  • And 26 percent said they want to retire to a city.

Baby Boomers have historically been considered a very influential generation, in part because of their sheer size. And their latest activity on the national real estate market is likely to have a major impact on the state of the housing market for many years to come.

After all, about 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center in Washington. And it’s estimated that between 2010 and 2020, Americans age 65 to 74 will jump 51 percent.

Experts are also saying that the Baby Boomer generation is expected to stay in the housing market longer than the previous generation.

Some even predict that Baby Boomers will be purchasing and selling properties well into their 80s because they have led active and healthier lives for a longer period than their parents.

Keeping An Eye on Key Real Estate Trends for You

It will be interesting to see how the Baby Boomer generation continues to shape real estate trends on a national scale.

We’ll keep you posted on this trend as well as any other trends that may affect you as a home buyer or seller.

Make sure to check back on July 1 for even more valuable information that will help you navigate the local real estate market.

Report: U.S. Home Sales Increase for the First time in 2014

US home salesReal estate experts all across the country were thrilled to hear the latest numbers on the national housing market recently.

That’s because sales of existing U.S. homes showed a slight increase between March and April, reversing a 12-month trend in which home purchases had been dropping.

This wasn’t the only good news that the National Association of Realtors had to share, either.

Experts Encouraged By Recent Sales Data for National Housing Market

Here are some of the highlights of the recent report from the National Association of Realtors:

  • Home sales increased 1.3 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million.
  • The purchase of homes over the last 12 months had dropped 6.8 percent before April’s numbers were released.
  • The majority of gains were concentrated in the condominium market, which saw 7.3 percent growth.
  • Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes were up 0.5 percent during the month of April.
  • Still, home buying is significantly below its 2013 rate, which is when 5.1 million existing homes were purchased. And that’s still far below the 5.5 million rate that usually indicates a healthy market.
  • Median home prices increased 5.2 percent to $201,700 in April, which was the slowest increase since March 2012.
  • Home buying increased in the West and the South, although they mostly decreased in the Midwest and remained flat in the Northeast.
  • Home sales continued to decrease for homes priced below $250,000, although they continued to increase for those homes priced above $750,000.
  • First time home buyers represented 29 percent of all sales, which is far below the historical average of 40 percent.
  • Average rates for fixed, 30-year mortgages were around 4.2 percent recently, compared to 3.51 percent a year ago.

Experts say that sales may have been higher had it not been for a few confounding factors, such as snowstorms and brutal cold weather in the Midwest and Northeast during the first couple of months of 2014.

Other factors include higher home prices and rising interest rates.

Still, experts remain optimistic. For instance, the April report indicated that more home sellers are listing their properties on the market. In fact, the market has a 5.9 month supply of homes right now, which is up from 5.2 a year ago.

Keeping You Informed on National Developments

We love getting the opportunity to share some positive news about the national housing market with you and we hope you’re as encouraged by the recent data as we are.

Check back here soon for more updates on the current state of the national housing market and how it may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller.