Sales of New and Existing Homes Continue to Climb

New single-family home sales increased 1% in April from an upward-revised March level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 915,000 units was 2% above the April 2001 rate. Sales surged by 34% in the Midwest, the biggest gain in that region since December 1993. However, sales fell 3% in the South, 6% in the West, and 14% in the Northeast. The inventory of unsold homes hit a 6-year high but remained tight relative to current sales at 4.2 months. Meanwhile, the national Association of Realtors reports that existing-home sales rose in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.79 million units. That was 7% above March’s figure, 9.5% above the April 2001 mark, and was the third highest pace on record. The national median existing-home price was $153,300 in April, up 7% from April 2001. Unlike the new-home report, which showed a leap in the Midwest but declines in other regions, the Realtors said existing-home sales rose in all four regions.

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