What You Need to Know about April Housing Numbers

Highlights from the latest housing report from the National Association of Realtors.

Most indicators of housing market health have been on the upswing lately, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Year-over-year existing home sales are up 6.1%; however, the housing market took a slight breather in April as home sales declined 3.3% compared with March.

Overall, the outlook for the market is quite positive, according to Andres Carbacho-Burgos, a senior economist and chief housing analyst at Moody’s Analytics. With a few more quarters of strong job growth, we’ll see a faster housing market rebound.

“It’s a good time to buy a home right now,” he said. “If you wait a year or two, income growth and recovery may push prices higher.”

NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said buyer interest is higher than a year ago.

“With low interest rates and job growth, more buyers will be encouraged to enter the market unless prices accelerate even higher in relation to incomes,” he added.

The median price of homes sold hit $219,400 in April, up 8.9% compared with 12 months earlier. That marked the 38th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. Contributing to the higher prices were bidding wars in many of the hottest local markets, according to Yun.

“To put it in perspective, roughly 40% of properties sold last month went at or above the asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this data in December 2012,” he said.

Regionally, sales gains were strongest in the Midwest, up 1.7%. The most expensive region was the West, where the median price was $318,700.

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To get a glimpse at what’s out there, check out this $295,000 Oregon property (pictured above), featuring four bedrooms, three bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace.

Les is a Real Estate Market Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Born and raised in Whitestone, N.Y., and never having lived outside of NYC, Les is a graduate of City College of New York in Manhattan. Les switched careers in his late 30s, studying writing at New School and Brooklyn Polytechnic, now the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Les has written for several magazines and copyedited books on early childhood education prior to joining CNNMoney as a personal finance writer, where his main beat was real estate. His wife and partner of 42 years is a retired magazine editor who spent her career at the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo). They are residents of the Upper West Side.

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