NAR: First-quarter existing-home sales up in majority of states

Existing-home sales were up during the first quarter of 2011.According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales during the first quarter of 2011 were up in almost every state. Only one state did not experience positive gains. In addition to the greater sales, 22 percent of the surveyed metropolitan areas saw increased prices year-over-year.Across the country, total existing-home sales, which include single-family properties and condos, jumped 8.3 percent, settling at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.14 million units. This is up from Q4 2010's total of 4.75 million, and is only down 0.8 percent year-over-year.In 34 of the 153 metropolitan statistical areas surveyed, the median existing single-family price rose, with four areas jumping by double digits. The national median price for single-family homes was $158,700, which is down 4.6 percent year-over-year.”The biggest sales increase has been in the lower price ranges, which are popular with investors and cash buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. “The preponderance of sales activity at the lower end is bringing down the median price, so what we’re seeing is the result of a change in the composition of home sales.”In the South, existing-home sales were up 8.5 percent during Q1 2011, which was the second-greatest increase among all surveyed regions. The greater sales could be a good indication for the Houston real estate market. ?Courtesy of 2M?Realty News

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