Existing Homes Sales on the Rise

Existing Homes Sales on the Rise

Strong buyer activity in lower price ranges has helped raise existing home sales by 2.9 percent in April, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Housing analysts have revised their forecast and are predicting existing home sales volume of 4.68 million units for 2009.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the increased activity can be attributed to both newer demand from first-time home buyers, and a seasonal rise in interest from repeat buyers. "Most of the sales are taking place in lower price ranges and activity is beginning to pick up in the mid-price ranges," he said.

Existing Home Sales By Region

The current market appears to have a broad-based appeal. An April survey revealed first-time buyers declined to 40 percent of transactions, implying that more repeat buyers are engaging during the home-buying season. Buyers looking at homes has increased 14 percentage points from a year ago. "This is consistent with our forecast for home sales in the latter part of the year to be 10 to 20 percent higher than the second half of 2008," Yun said.

Freddie Mac reported that the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.81 percent in April, down over a point form the this time a year ago.

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