Existing-home sales rose strongly in May and inventory gains continued to help moderate price growth, according to a just-released report from the National Association of Realtors. All four regions of the country experienced sales gains compared to a month earlier.
Nationwide, existing home sales rose 4.9 percent in May, but remain 5 percent below May 2013. The 4.9 percent month-over-month gain in May was the highest monthly rise since August 2011. Closer to home, in the country’s South region, sales rose 5.7 percent in May, and were down only 0.5 percent from this time last year.
“Home buyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates.”
The median existing-home price nationwide in May was $213,400, which is 5.1 percent above May 2013. In the South region, the median price was $184,800.
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According to the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders, front porches are heading for a comeback as one of the most popular amenities in 2014. Though you may not have realized, front porches have been traded out in recent years for front-facing garages, more backyard space, and decks in the back of homes that offer more privacy to homeowners.
This year, builders expect to see a great reemergence of the front porch. Most often associated with a great place to drink a cup of morning coffee and a resting place for parents watching over their kids out in the neighborhood, the front porch is a sign of simpler times. Even if it’s not a grand space, a front porch adds architectural detail, curb appeal, and is an inviting feature for home buyers. Adding a couple rocking chairs, a porch swing, or a small bench creates an extension of the home and a place to sit back and connect with neighbors.
Check out these listings that represent the many homes we have on the market with this charming feature: