Good news agents, the number of prospective buyers signing contracts to buy previously owned homes increased last month to the highest level in three years, which is just one more sign that the housing market’s rebound is well under way.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending sales of existing homes rose 0.3% in April compared to the previous month, and showed an overall gain of 10.3% from the previous year.
“The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist. The last time the reading was higher was in April 2010 when home buyers rushed to qualify for a federal tax credit.
The housing market has been on a run of late. However, the pace of home-price gains has raised some concerns among economists over whether low mortgage rates have spurred too much growth. More expensive markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego have witnessed double-digit price gains over the past year.
Demand for previously owned homes has been hindered by a shortage of properties for sale, but rising prices have begun to make people feel more at ease about selling. If price increases encourage more sellers to test the market, the new supply could have the potential to boost sales while forcing down price growth.
Some economists believe housing will be one of the main economic drivers this year as prices rise, more homes are sold and builders break ground on new projects. In the meantime, we all have to sit tight to find out if those beliefs become reality!
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