Markets & Economy

NAR: Sales of existing homes post first increase this year

Housing inventory jumps 16.8 percent month over month

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Sales of existing homes posted their first gains of the year in April, and a surge in new listings coming onto the market last month could give what's left of the spring buying season a badly needed boost, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Existing-home sales rose 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million in April from 4.59 million in March, but were down 6.8 percent from a year earlier, NAR reported. Monthly gains in home sales in the West and South offset a slight decline in the Midwest, while sales in the Northeast were flat, NAR said. “Some growth was inevitable after subpar housing activity in the first quarter, but improved inventory is expanding choices and sales should generally trend upward from this point,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. The improvement in housing supply, which has been anemic for some time, was considerable, according to NAR data. The number of existing homes for sale leaped 16.8 percent mont...