NAR: Home purchase activity strong, yet tight inventory remains stumbling block

Homes are selling but they'd likely be bought at a higher rate if there were more to choose from.Existing-home sales rose across the country in April, but were it not for reduced inventory,?purchases would have been far more robust, a new report indicates.According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops jumped about six basis points last month, finishing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.9 million.Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, noted that while the report is an encouraging sign for?the vitality of the housing market, buying activity could have easily been north of the 5-million unit pace if limited inventory levels weren't creating friction.Not since November 2009 have existing-home sales moved this briskly, the NAR report notes. In addition, the national median currently stands at $192,800, up 11 percent from 12 months ago.Meanwhile in the Houston real estate market, home prices growth is apparent as well. The median price of a single-family home was $184,900 last month, 14.5 percent above year-ago levels, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
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