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Got Glut? Plus, Prices Have "A Long Way to Go"

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Sluggish and gluttish: Those are the highlights from the National Association of Realtors April report. Nationwide, home sales rose 2.9 percent from March, according to the Associated Press, although sales are still down from 35 percent from the peak seen in September 2005. The biggest problem is that homes are just sitting on the market, reports the AP: "The number of unsold homes on the market at the end of April rose almost 9 percent from a month earlier to nearly 4 million. That's a 10-month supply at the current sales pace, and was particularly troubling to economists. The rise in unsold homes "suggests foreclosure activity may be adding homes to the market faster than sales are removing them," wrote David Resler, chief economist with Nomura Securities." Housing experts tell the New York Times that given rising unemployment numbers more homes will come on the market. Here's Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist at MFR, talking to the NYT: "We’ve got all this looming inventory out there, and the likelihood that whatever gains we see in sales are going to be pretty anemic. If you look at the broad middle of the market, price adjustment has a long way to go because of this whole inventory issue.” And let's go to the press release itself: High-end home sales remain sluggish, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, while fewer first time buyers are entering the market.
· April existing home sales inch upward, prices fall [Associated Press]
· U.S. Home Sales Remain Sluggish as Supply Soars [NYT]
· Existing-Home Sales Rise in April [National Association of Realtor]