U.S. existing home sales rose again in April, up 7.6%, with buyers motivated by the federal tax credit, improving consumer confidence, and affordable rates and prices, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday, May 24.
The 5.77 million single-family houses, townhomes, condos, and co-ops sold this April compares to only 4.70 million units sold in April 2009. Monthly sales rose 7.0% in March.
“The upswing in April existing-home sales was expected because of the tax credit inducement, and no doubt there will be some temporary fallback in the months immediately after it expires, but other factors also are supporting the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. “For people who were on the sidelines, there’s been a return of buyer confidence with stabilizing home prices, an improving economy, and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low.”
Yun noted that the gain was widely anticipated, but the rise in sales exceeded analysts’ expectations that 5.65 million homes would be sold in April. Retail stock prices rose on the news.