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'For Sale' homes needed as sales surge

Published On: May 30 2013 06:44:33 PM CDT
Updated On: May 30 2013 07:31:12 PM CDT

This summer could see the housing rebound many sellers have been waiting years for.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

This summer could see the housing rebound many sellers have been waiting years for.

In the Pikes Peak area this April 3,121 homes were sold. That's much better than a typical April since 2010 in which around 2,500 homes were sold according to the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

"It's finally good news for the seller. For the first time in six years they've seen the market prices going up," said Hank Poburka, chairman of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

Realtors said a combination of factors are driving existing home sales including a low inventory of homes on the market and high demand thanks to low mortgage rates.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages jumped this week to their highest levels in a year, signaling slightly higher costs for home buyers. But rates remain low by historical standards.

The average rate for the 30-year loan rose about a quarter of a percent from last week to 3.81 percent. That's still near the all-time low of 3.31.

Nationally, the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes ticked up in April to the highest level in three years. The increase points to further strength in home sales in the coming months.

The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 0.3 percent to 106. That's the highest since April 2010, when a home buyer tax credit inflated sales.

Signed contracts have jumped 10.3 percent in the past 12 months.  There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

In the Colorado Springs area, the total number of sales under contract rose dramatically to 2,128. There were only 1,897 pending contracts in April of 2012.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, a 3.5-year high.

Competition among buyers is another positive aspect of the current market locally.

"People are convinced now we are out of the very bottom of the market," said Poburka. "We're starting to see multiple offers on homes for the first time in the last six years."

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