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U.S. Home Sales at Highest Levels Since 2009

The National Association of Realtors released a report this week that further emphasizes the slow and arduous climb out of the recession for the U.S. economy, specifically as it relates to real estate sales as the market breaches the toxicity that it was once plagued with. Home sales in the U.S., according to the NAR report, are the highest that they’ve been since 2009, with the inventory of available homes for sale up slightly, too.

Sales of existing homes increased by .06 percent, an increase in April from March’s 4.94 million to 4.97 million; or about 9.7 percent greater than they were a year prior when NAR last ran their report. The annual sales rates in April were at the highest level they’ve been since November, 2009, when sales of homes were at a peak level of 5.44 million. By comparison to pre-recession numbers, spanning from 2000–2005, when sales were at an average of 6 million per month, there is still some room for positive growth.

“The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “If not for those constraints, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5 million-unit pace,” he said.

In April, the inventory of homes for sale increased to that of a 5.2 month supply. That’s an increase from 4.7 month supply from March. According to the NAR, a 6 month supply is considered the most viable and desirable, creating a careful balance between buyers and sellers.

Home values on the rise. The national median price of a home in the U.S. was at an estimated $192,800, a healthy 11 percent increase from this same time last year. Furthermore, sales of distressed homes and foreclosures are dropping off and only accounted for 18 percent of all home sales, which is down from 28 percent this same time last year.

Analysts are predicting that this could be the sign of sure recovery, if the supply continues to remain stable and the buyer to seller window slowly can increase to the benchmark of 6 months. As more new homes are built, it’s predicted that the value of homes on a national level will continue to appreciate. With restrictions and safeguards in place to prevent another toxic mortgage meltdown, this could be the light at the end of the tunnel that the U.S. real estate market has been awaiting since 2006.

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