Signs of Nationwide Real Estate Recovery in April?

Real estate sales reports for the month of April are just starting to be released by local realtor associations, and the reports out today are showing some strong signs of recovery with double-digit gains in unit sales and/or home prices for April in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Des Moines, the D.C. area, Baltimore and Reno.

1. Twin Cities home prices bounced up in April with the largest jump since before the housing market meltdown. The median sales price leaped 12.4% from last April to $163,000, the largest jump since January 2004, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors found in their monthly report, released today.  The number of closed sales was up 7.1 percent in April, to 3,730. Year-to-date, sales are up nearly 15 percent from last year. Pending sales were up strongly compared to last April, 26.4 percent.

2.  Monthly home sales rose 25 percent in the Nashville area last month compared to a year ago, with the median price of a single-family home up 3.8 percent to $165,120, reflecting a further stabilizing of the market.

3. Home sales jumped nearly 20% in the Des Moines area in April over a year ago, and climbed 5% over March. Pending home sales were about 23% higher last month over April 2011, and inched 2% higher than March. The average home sale price was $164,847 in April, nearly 6% higher than a year earlier, the report shows.

This is what recovery looks like in the Des Moines market,” said Les Sulgrove, general manager of Re/Max Opportunities in Ankeny.”

4. D.C. home prices increased by the greatest amount over the past year since 2006, according to a report released Thursday by Real Estate Business Intelligence.  “Pricing in the D.C. metro area continued recent positive trends with a year-over-year median sale price gain of 11.2%, the highest annual gain in more than six years,” the firm reported.  Prices increased in every jurisdiction in the D.C. metro area, with the greatest gains occurring in Arlington, with 27.7% and Falls Church City, with 19.8%.

5. The Baltimore region saw a double-digit gain in average home sale prices in April, the most in six years — driven by a shrunken supply of cheap foreclosures rather than by homes seeing a rapid resurgence in value.  The average price for a home sold in April was $281,000, a 10 percent increase over the year.

6. April home sales in the Reno Nevada area saw double-digit gains over the previous year, according to a report released today by the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors. Sales of existing single-family homes rose 17% from April 2011.

Updates:

7.  April home sales in the greater Milwaukee area increased 44.2% with 1,541 houses sold, 472 more than in April 2011, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.  With the boost in April, home sales for the first four months of 2012 were 29.6% higher than in 2011 and 10.1% higher than in 2010.

8. Home sales across the Birmingham area rose 21 percent in April, a positive sign for the market as it heads into the typically busy summer selling season.  The Birmingham Association of Realtors said today that 973 homes were sold last month, compared to 805 in April 2011. The average price of $170,945 represented a 2 percent uptick from a year ago.

9. The median home price for the Phoenix area increased in April to $137,611, up 25% from $110,000 last year.

10. A rebound in high-end home sales helped propel April home sales in Champaign County IL — and prospects look good for a strong May. April sales were up 19 percent from a year ago in terms of the number of homes sold. They were up 38 percent in terms of sales volume in dollars.

“The high end has finally awoken after a very long hibernation,” said Matt Difanis, president of the Champaign County Association of Realtors.”

11. Home sales in the Lehigh Valley increased 33.2% over the same time last year with 445 homes sold in April 2012 compared with 334 sold in April 2011.

12. Fewer listings and a deep well of buyers helped spark an unusually high number of multiple offers during April, bolstering home prices and the notion that the housing market is on the mend. Throughout the Chicago metro area, the number of closed sales last month rose 7.1 percent compared with last year, while the median price of those deals jumped 12.4 percent to $163,000 — marking the second consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

13. April home sales in Tuscon were 11% above last year, following a 18.6% gain in March.

14. The 389 Madison-area (Dane County) home sales recorded in April were 22.7% higher than the 317 home sales in April of 2011, representing the second highest total for any April over the last 5 years.

About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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