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Early Returns on the April Tax Credit and Home Sales

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The National Association of Realtors released March numbers this month, reporting that home sales increased nationwide by 5.3 percent (and 1.9 percent in the West), a rise which NAR execs attribute to buyers wanting to take advantage of that tax credit, which expired April 30th. And if no one can anticipate what numbers April will bring in, the Atlantic isn't very optimistic. In reference to the above chart, the Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio writes: "You can see the March 2010 data point is significantly lower than the peak in October 2009, a month prior to the credit's planned expiration last time around. Pending sales would have to rise by more than 9% in April to reach that level." Others are more optimistic: Even if sales slow, the market is recovering. "We expect a pullback after the tax credit expires. Ultimately, the demand for housing is determined by the underlying economic fundamentals and they are gradually improving," said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina, tells Reuters.
· Pending Home Sales up 5.3% in March [Atlantic]