The property market in the US has experience a solid spring, with sales of previously owned houses reaching the highest level for three years.
Figures revealed by the National Association of Realtors show that existing-home sales rose by 0.6 per cent in April 2013 from the month previously. Once seasonally adjusted this brings the annual total to USD 4.97 million, the highest level since November 2009.
Compared to sales of existing homes in the same month the previous year, the figures show an increase of 9.7 per cent illustrating a continuing rebound.
Indeed, this was not the only sign that the housing market is on its way to recovery in the US. Time on the market had also reduced by almost half from 83 days a year ago, to 46 days in April 2013. Median house prices were also up by 11 per cent compared to last year’s figures, bringing it to an average of USD 192,800. This is the highest since August 2008.
More positively, the number of sales of houses valued under USD 100,000 - including foreclosures - fell by nearly ten per cent, while sales of properties over USD 750,000 were up 40 per cent.
Paul Diggle, property economist with Capital Economics, told the Wall Street Journal that these figures are a positive sign about the overall health of the US property market.
"The recovery is not dependent on cash buyers and investors snapping up cheap distressed homes, as many had feared," Mr. Diggle said.
"That's an encouraging sign that the recovery will be sustained."
The percentage of sales that were foreclosures and distressed properties fell to 18 per cent in the year to April 2013 too, the lowest level since October 2008.
The number of homes up for sale rose for the third consecutive month, an important trend as spring is always a key season for sales in the property market . The number of existing homes listed for sale at the end of April increased by 11.9 per cent to 2.16 million homes, but was still down 13.6 per cent from year-ago levels.
- Friday 24 May 2013