April 2013 sales of existing-home in the United States were up, but low inventory and tight credit kept sales less than the underlying demand, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Strong price gains, compared to one year ago, continue to be seen in all regions of the United States.
Total sales of existing home sales (including town homes and condos as well as single-family homes) were up 0.6% in April 2013, to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million. That was up from March 2013's upwardly revised level of 4.94 million. The April level is up 9.7% from 4.53 million in April 2012.
Existing homes are selling at their fastest pace since November 2009, when the federal home buyer tax credit caused sales in the United States to jump to 5.44 million.
"The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory. Without these frictions, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5-million unit pace," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Buyer traffic is 31% stronger than a year ago, but sales are running only about 10% higher. It's become quite clear that the only way to tame price growth to a manageable, healthy pace is higher levels of new home construction."
"With homes selling in half the time it took to sell a year ago, buyers must be both decisive and prudent," said NAR President Gary Thomas, the broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, CA.
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