Existing-home sales increased 3.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, up from the downwardly revised 4.47 million in March, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). April's numbers are also 10% higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011.
The total housing inventory at the end of April rose 9.5% to 2.54 million existing homes available for sale, a seasonal increase that represents a 6.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6.2-month supply in March. The listed inventory is 20.6% below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply; the record for unsold inventory was 4.04 million in July 2007.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types jumped 10.1% to $177,400 in April from a year ago; the March price showed an upwardly revised 3.1% annual improvement.Â
Distressed homes accounted for 28% of April sales – 17% were foreclosures and 11% were short sales. This is down from 29% in March and 37% in April 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 21% below market value in April, while short sales were discounted 14%.
All-cash sales fell to 29% of transactions in April from 32% in March; they were 31% in April 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 20% of homes in April, compared with 21% in March and 20% in April 2011.Â
The median existing single-family home price was $178,000 in April, up 10.4% from April 2011. Single-family home sales rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in April, up from 3.97 million in March, and they are also 9.9% higher than the 3.72 million-unit pace from a year ago.