Sales of previously owned homes bottomed out in February and sales in March and April have been impressive, according to Re/Max.

The actual number of existing homes sold (as opposed to the annual rate used in some reports) rose nearly 11% in April following a 25% jump in March, the Denver-based real estate brokerage franchisor reported Tuesday. (These sales numbers are not seasonally adjusted.)

However, April sales in the 52 metropolitan markets tracked by Re/Max were down 7.6% from a year earlier. And price appreciation has slowed from last year's pace.

"While sales and prices aren't growing at the rate they did last year, we still remain in a recovery with the market settling into a more sustainable growth pattern," says Re/Max chief executive Margaret Kelly.

The National Association of Realtors is slated to report April existing home homes on Thursday.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase are forecasting the Realtors' report will show that sales rose 1.3% in April from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million in April.

(Re/Max tracks sales in 52 metropolitan markets, including 25 of the largest markets and 27 other markets to ensure it collects sales data in nearly all 50 states. The Realtor group casts a much wider net in collecting sales data.)

The inventory of homes for sale is very tight, Re/Max says. "At the rate of home sales in April, there was a 3.9-month supply of inventory, down from 4.1 in March," the firm says. A six-month supply of homes is generally considered a balanced market. On average, homes sold in April had been on the market for 74 days.


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