Pending Home Sales Hit a 9-Year Record in April, Says the NAR

10:31 am ET
May 28, 2015May 28, 2015

mortgage rate

March was a banner month for pending home sales—those that are in contract but haven’t yet officially sold. Guess what? So was April, the National Association of Realtors® reported on Thursday. Home-buyer activity had increased 11% year over year by March; in April, it rose again for the fourth straight month, up 3.4% from the previous month, and 14% from a year earlier. That’s the highest level since 2006.

And so the trend continues: Buyer activity on the rise, prices going up, mortgage rates inching up, inventory not climbing fast enough to meet demand. That last point’s probably the most important one. NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say about Thursday’s report: “Realtors® are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited—and in some cases severe—inventory shortages in many metro areas.”

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And: “Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver’s seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale.” Yun expects the national median existing-home price will rise to around 6.7% for this year.

Breaking into a sweat yet, hopeful buyers? Maybe the key is to put your own house on the market, despite (reasonable) fears that you won’t be able to afford anything better once you sell. The way to stabilize the market is through more inventory. If you’re mulling over whether or not to sell your home, put it on the market!

Or actually, maybe you won’t have to just yet. Homebuilders are feeling pretty good about the multifamily market, according to a report Thursday from the National Association of Home Builders. They should be upping the new-homes inventory this year.