home sales rise in most states in first quarter
-home sales rise in most states in first quarter
Existing-home sales rose 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million units in the first quarter, an increase from 4.75 million in the fourth quarter, but are 0.8 percent below the 5.18 million recorded during the same period in 2010, NAR reported.
The national median existing single-family home price was $158,700 in the first quarter, down 4.6 percent from $166,400 in the first quarter of 2010. Distressed homes, typically sold at a discount of about 20 percent, accounted for 39 percent of first quarter sales, up from 36 percent a year earlier.
Investors accounted for 21 percent of first-quarter transactions, up from 18 percent a year ago, while first-time buyers purchased 32 percent of homes, down from 42 percent in the first quarter of 2010 when a tax credit was in place. Repeat buyers accounted for a 47 percent market share in the first quarter, up from 40 percent a year earlier.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the West, which includes California, rose 13.5 percent in the first quarter to a level of 1.29 million and are 2.1 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West declined 4.7 percent to $197,400 in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2010.