Home sales increased in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 as signs of a seller’s market may be starting to emerge, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a recent report.
According to the NAR, total sales of existing homes across the U.S. rose 0.8 percent on a quarterly basis and 9.8 percent on a yearly basis in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013.
In Q1 2013, the seasonally-adjusted annual existing-home sales pace came in at 4.94 million, up from 4.90 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012 and 4.50 million in Q1 2012.
Meanwhile, 1.93 million existing homes were available for sale across the U.S. at the end of Q1 2013, which represents a 16.8 percent decline from the 2.32 million homes that were available a year earlier in Q1 2012.
“The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. “Inventory conditions are expected to remain fairly constrained this year, so overall price increases should be well above the historic gain of one-to-two percentage points above the rate of inflation.
Three of four major U.S. regions saw increases in home sales in Q1 on a quarterly basis and all four regions registered yearly gains.
The Northeast had the largest quarterly gains, as sales increased 4.4 percent from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013. Q1 2013 sales in this region also came in 9.1 percent higher than a year earlier in Q1 2012.
The Midwest region, had the largest yearly existing-home sales gain in Q1 at 15.0 percent and showed a 1.2 percent quarterly gain, while home sales in the South increased 13.3 percent and 0.7 percent yearly and quarterly, respectively.
The West saw existing-home sales fall 1.1 percent quarter-over-quarter but did still come in 0.6 percent higher than a year earlier.