Coachella Valley home sales up 25 percent

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Erica Solvig • The Desert Sun • May 29, 2008April housing sales strongest since September 2005April’s housing sales marked the strongest year-over-year showing the Coachella Valley has seen since September 2005.The 912 homes sold in April reflect a 3.8 percent drop from the year before – a marked improvement compared to typical year-over-year declines that have hovered around 30 percent.The sales also mark a 25.1 percent increase over March, according to a monthly analysis of the valley DataQuick Information Systems released this week.A bulk of April’s sales were resale homes, which made year-over-year gains.”We’ve seen little baby steps, little baby steps (in the market upswing). Now you’re starting to see full strides,” said Sam Schenkl, executive officer of the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors, which represents 1,500 agents and brokers.DataQuick’s April analysis also shows:The resale market continues to drive housing sales.A total of 496 existing single-family homes sold, up 2.5 percent from April 2007. There were 276 resale condos sold in April, up 1.5 percent from a year ago.New construction continues to struggle, though sales rose over previous months. A total of 140 new homes were sold. That’s a 27.1 percent decline from April 2007.April’s sales continue an upward swing that began in the fall. It’s the highest number of monthly sales since July.Experts credit renewed confidence from investors, notably Canadians, for helping boosting April’s sales.Many visitors who have enjoyed the desert all season want to buy before they leave and summer starts.”People have been holding off; now they’re ready to make the move,” Schenkl said.

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