Single-family home sales hit 9-year high

by Ryan Smith24 Jul 2015
U.S. single-family home sales have hit their highest level in nearly a decade, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

The firm’s June and Midyear 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report stated that the country saw 914,291 single-family home and condo sales through April, the most recent month for which complete sales data are available. That’s the highest sales level for the first four months of a year since 2006, according to RealtyTrac.

The number of single-family homes and condos sold in the first four months of 2015 was also at its highest level since 2006 in 43 metropolitan areas, including Tampa, Denver and Columbus. RealtyTrac also found that distressed sales, cash sales and sales to institutional investors were at multi-year lows.

“As the investor-driven housing recovery faded in the first half of 2015, first-time homebuyers, boomerang buyers and other traditional owner-occupant buyers started to step into the gap and pick up the slack,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. “This is good news for sellers in many markets, providing them with strong demand from a larger pool of buyers, and U.S. sellers so far in 2015 are realizing the biggest gains in home price appreciation since 2007.”

However, there were a few major markets where sellers in the first half of the year sold below their original purchase price on average, with Chicago seeing the biggest drop with an average of 7%.

“Higher-value markets with a larger share of homes priced above the loan limits set by FHA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac markets are the most likely to struggle in the second half of the year as the recovery continues to become more dependent on traditional buyers relying on financing,” Blomquist said. “The health of these high-priced trophy markets will in many ways be tied more to global economic forces driving foreign cash buyers than U.S. economic and real estate fundamentals.”
 

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