April existing home sales rise 2.9 percent on foreclosures


Notch another mild, positive data point for the U.S. housing sector. Bolstered by foreclosure sales, U.S. existing home sales rose 2.9 percent in April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate to 4.68 million units, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected April existing home sales to total a 4.67-million-unit annualized rate. Still, existing homes are down 3.5 percent in the pat 12 months, and have plummeted 35 percent from the sector's peak about four years ago.

Foreclosures boost sales, but hurt prices

The median home price fell to $170,200 in April, a 15.4 percent plunge from the same period a year ago and the second largest year-over-year median price decline for existing homes on record. Just as telling: homes prices at the lower-end of the market are accounting for the bulk of sales, while the luxury end, with homes priced above $750,000, is stagnant.