Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably rose for a second month in April as investors used cash to buy distressed properties, a reminder real-estate is struggling to gain traction almost two years into the recovery, economists said before a report today.
Purchases of existing houses rose 2 percent to a 5.2 million annual pace, according to the median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Other reports may show fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week and manufacturing expanded in the Philadelphia region.
The increase in home demand is helping clear the market of inventory even as renewed foreclosures will probably continue weighing on prices. Manufacturing has so far carried the economy, validating the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain record stimulus until the recovery becomes self-sustaining.
“We are seeing a pickup in all-cash transactions,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “All-cash bargaining power and investment activity is helping absorb the supply. We will continue to see a gradual pickup in demand.”
The National Association of Realtors will release the figures at 10 a.m. in Washington. Estimates for home sales in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 5.09 million to 5.40 million. Purchases reached a record 7.08 million in 2005, and slumped to a 13-year low of 4.91 million last year.