NAR Existing Home Sales - Down 0.8% for April 2011

The National Association of Realtors released their existing home sales figures and give an April decrease of 0.8%, annualized rate, from March's increase. Existing home sales are now 12.9% below what they were one year ago.




Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, eased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in April from a downwardly revised 5.09 million in March, and are 12.9 percent below a 5.80 million pace in April 2010

NAR blames part of the slow down on people's inability to obtain a mortgage, so magically for those left with any bucks, we have this:

Although sales are clearly up from the cyclical lows of last summer, home sales are being held back 15 to 20 percent due to the very restrictive loan underwriting standards.

They also love to promote tax credits.

All cash sales 31%, down from the March record of 35% for all existing home purchases. NAR reports investors are most of these cash sales.

The median price of all existing home sales is $163,700, a 5% drop from one year ago. Buried in the report is this startling statistic:

Distressed homes – typically sold at a discount of about 20 percent – accounted for 37 percent of sales in April, down from 40 percent in March; they were 33 percent in April 2010.

This means people are picking up foreclosures, short sales at so called bargain prices.

Housing inventory increased to a 9.2 month supply and is up 9.9% for the month. For the year, existing inventory is down 3.9% as calculated by Calculated Risk.

The graph was courtesy of Calculated Risk, the best blog out there for original, independent, detailed, real estate graphs, data and analysis.

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