Pending residential home sales hit a height nationally that hasn’t been seen in nearly seven years, says the National Association of Realtors.
And statewide the activity of home sales is “robust,” says the New York State Association of Realtors, explaining that in May there was a 12 percent growth in median sale prices.
Clearly, reports of the improving real estate market are flowing in from all points to make the second quarter of the year a continuation of the optimism that began in the first quarter of the year.
Here are some interesting national conclusions:
In its Pending Home Sales Index, the national trade association reports that contract signings increased 6.7 percent to 112.3 in May from 105.2 in April.
Pending sales nationally have been above year-ago levels for the past 25 months, the report continues.
“Even with limited choices, it appears some of the rise in contract signings could be from buyers wanting to take advantage of current affordability conditions before mortgage interest rates move higher,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for National Association of Realtors. “This implies a continuation of double-digit price increases from a year earlier, with a strong push from pent-up demand.”
The group’s regional statistics show that the northeast region has the same strength as in other parts of the country:
“The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast was unchanged at 92.3 in May but is 14.3 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index jumped 10.2 percent to 115.5 in May and is 22.2 percent higher than May 2012. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.8 percent to an index of 121.8 in May and are 12.3 percent above a year ago. The index in the West jumped 16.0 percent in May to 109.7, but with limited inventory is only 1.1 percent above May 2012.”
Existing-home sales are projected to increase 8.5 to 9 percent, reaching about 5.07 million in 2013, the highest in seven years; it would be slightly above the 5.03 million recorded in 2007.
And here are some conclusions from the New York State Association of Realtors:
“Strong buyer demand coupled with a tighter supply of homes has helped drive the statewide median sales price up for the seventh consecutive month,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, chief operating officer of the NYSAR. “Sellers received, on average, slightly more than 95 percent of their asking price in May, which is the highest mark in nearly three years.”
“These trends have grabbed the attention of hesitant sellers, who are now more confident that it’s the right time to place a for sale sign out front,” said MacKenzie. He added that while inventory is still below year-ago levels, there was a more than 7 percent increase in new listings during May. “The new inventory coming on the market now will help fuel sales during what we expect to be an active summer market.”
The May market posted 8,538 closed sales, up 1.9 percent from the May 2012 total of 8,376. The year-to-date (Jan. 1 to May 31) sales total of 34,786 represents a 5.4 percent increase from the same period last year.
The statewide median sales price reached $224,000, an increase of 12 percent compared to the May 2012 median of $200,000, marking seven consecutive months of year-over-year price gains. The year-to-date (Jan. 1 to May 31) median sales price of $218,050 represents a 6.4 percent increase from the same period last year.
Pending sales jumped 24.2 percent to 12,333 in May 2013 compared to 9,930 in May 2012 in New York state.
Low inventory remains a problem for buyers, the New York association reported.
But stay tuned. The third quarter of the house-selling season is yet to come for buyers and sellers.