Existing home sales gain in April

Existing Home Sales totaled 4.62mm annualized in April, a touch above estimates and up from 4.47mm in March which was revised slightly lower. For contracts likely signed in Feb and March, closings rose for both single family and condos/co-ops. Because though the amount of homes for sale rose, months supply rose to 6.6 from 6.2 to the most since Nov. The median sales price rose 10.1% y/o/y to $177,400, the highest since July ’10, likely helped by what the NAR said was “a diminishing share of foreclosed property sales.” Distressed home sales made up 28% of the total, down from 29% in March and 37% in April 2011. Bottom line, it will be a few months before we know whether the spring selling season started in Jan/Feb because of the mild winter and it remains to be seen the full extent of the shadow inventory that is out there. The foreclosure process should start to pick up as the banks have made their settlement with the states. This said, there is a better tone to the housing market (relatively speaking) but with what’s been seen, it wasn’t going to take much other than time.

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