The median time on market for all homes was 46 days in April, down sharply from 62 days in March, and is 48 percent faster than the 83 days on market in April 2012.
NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said market conditions have flipped in the past year. "With homes selling in half the time it took to sell a year ago, buyers must be both decisive and prudent," he said. "Advice with contract terms and negotiations is where the expertise of a Realtor® shines for both buyers and sellers."
Short sales were on the market for a median of 73 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 43 days and non-distressed homes took 44 days. Forty-four percent of all homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, while only 8 percent were on the market for a year or longer.
First-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of purchases in April, compared with 30 percent in March and 35 percent in April 2012.
All-cash sales were at 32 percent of transactions in April, up from 30 percent in March; they were 29 percent in April 2012. Individual investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 19 percent of homes in April, unchanged from March; they were 20 percent in April 2012.
Single-family home sales rose 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million in April from 4.33 million in March, and are 9.0 percent above the 4.02 million-unit level in April 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $193,300 in April, which is 11.0 percent above a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 3.3 percent to an annualized rate of 590,000 units in April from 610,000 in March, but are 15.7 percent above the 510,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $189,500 in April, up 11.3 percent from April 2012.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 640,000 in April and are 4.9 percent above April 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $245,100, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest fell 3.4 percent in April to a pace of 1.12 million but are 9.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $149,300, up 6.7 percent from April 2012.
In the South, existing-home sales rose 2.0 percent to an annual level of 2.01 million in April and are 14.9 percent above April 2012. The median price in the South was $168,700, which is 10.6 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 1.7 percent to a pace of 1.20 million in April and are 4.3 percent above a year ago. Given limited choices and multiple bidding, the median price in the West was $263,600, up 17.5 percent from April 2012.
The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit www.houselogic.com and http://retradio.com.
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