Condo sales surge ahead of single-family homes

Condo sales surge ahead of single-family homes

Diana Olick | @diana_olick

Condos on Golden Gate Point in Sarasota, FL -- Pic via Sean Dreznin's Blog
Condos on Golden Gate Point in Sarasota, FL — Pic via Sean Dreznin’s Blog

Sales of existing homes improved slightly in April, but there is a growing divergence between the type of homes Americans are buying.

Sales of single-family homes increased just 0.5 percent month-to-month, according to the National Association of Realtors, but sales of condominiums jumped over 7 percent. Compared with a year ago, single-family sales were down nearly 7 percent, while condo sales were flat.

“Broadly speaking, we are beginning to see people liking more closer-in developments,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. “The baby boomers who are looking to trade down, they are looking for condominiums. Many of the younger people, if they can qualify to buy, they are looking into the condominium style of living, compared to single family with backyards.”
During the last housing boom, builders ventured out beyond the suburbs into the so-called “exurbs,” seeking cheaper land on which to build ever bigger houses. The post-recession mentality, however, has more Americans looking to streamline their finances and their way of living.

Rental demand continues to surge despite still rising rents. Apartment occupancy increased to 94.8 percent in April, a 60-basis-point jump from the beginning of the year, according to Dallas-based Axiometrics, an apartment research firm.

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