Pending homes sales inched up in April. Learn more about this and other real estate market trends.
Pending home sales rose 0.3 percent in April, as declines in the West and South largely offset gains in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the latest real estate market trends released today by the National Association of Realtors.
The associations Pending Home Sales Index – a forward looking indicator of real estate market trends – inched up to a two-year high of 106 in April from 105.7 in March. The index stands 10.3 percent higher the April 2012 reading of 96.1.
“The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions. Pending contracts so far this year easily correspond to higher closed home sales in 2013,” Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist said in a statement analyzing the latest real estate market trends.
Existing-home sales are expected to rise just over 7 percent to about 5 million this year, Yun said, while tight inventory pushes home prices up to their highest level in five years. He predicts the national median existing-home price will rise nearly 8 percent to more than $190,000 in 2013.
In other real estate market trends reported today, National Association of Home Builders reports the outlook for the apartment and condominium market has improved. The trade group’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI) rose two points to an index level of 52. The index tracks builder and development sentiment over three aspects of the multifamily housing market. Any reading over 50 indicates a greater number of respondents view conditions as positive rather than negative.
“The multifamily market has recovered substantially since the end of 2010, and is well on its way to reaching a sustainable level,” David Crowe, the group’s chief economist said in a statement interpreting real estate market trends for apartments and condominiums. “However, there are still issues facing builders and developers that could have an impact on future production, such as a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials.”
The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose to a 12-month high of 3.81 percent in the week ending today, according to the latest real estate market trends reported today by Freddie Mac.