Published: Tue, April 24, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Existing-Home Sales Rose 1.1% in March

Existing-Home Sales Rose 1.1% in March

Existing home sales rose for the second consecutive month but are still down by 1.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

At March's sales pace, it would take 3.6 months to exhaust the current inventory, up from 3.4 months in February.

Homes stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 34 days a year ago in a sign that the lack of inventory is prompting buyers to sign contracts quickly. All told, 50 percent of homes sold were on the market for less than one month.

Resales in the USA increased in March, the second consecutive month of positive growth.

The metropolitan areas with the fewest days on market and most realtor.com® views in March, according to realtor.com's Market Hotness Index, were San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Midland, Texas; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. The median sales price tag has risen 5.8 per cent in the year ago to £250,400. The median price of $158,000 was up 15.6 percent from last year's $136,700.

The total inventory of 1.67 million existing homes available for sale was 7.2 percent lower than a year ago (1.80 million), and March saw the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year inventory declines.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.29 million in March, but are still 1.5 percent below a year ago. Four percent were distressed. The seasonally adjusted annual rate came in at 5.51 million, the highest since posting 6.48 million in 2006. Despite last month's increase, sales are still 1.2 percent below a year ago.

"Although the strong job market and recent tax cuts are boosting the incomes of many households, speedy price growth is squeezing overall affordability in several markets, especially those out West", says Yun. First-time home buyers accounted for 30 per cent of transactions last month, up from 29 per cent in February, but down from 32 per cent year ago.

Shortage of inventory has also led to stiff competition as buyer demand continues to grow, NAR said.

Trading on Tuesday may be impacted by reaction to reports on home prices, consumer confidence and new home sales.

According to Keller Williams Chief Economist Ruben Gonzalez, existing-home sales are on a familiar track.

Existing-home sales in the South dipped 0.4% in March to an annual rate of 2.4 million, but remain.0.4% above March 2017 sales.

Homes remained a year 18, down in 3-4 days the deficiency of inventory is now allowing consumers to register contracts quickly. "Based on data and anecdotal evidence, the most restrictive inventory conditions now exist for entry-level housing, and this is also where we anticipate the most acceleration in home price appreciation".

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