Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Existing-Home Sales March On at Highest Pace in 10-Plus Years

Existing-Home Sales March On at Highest Pace in 10-Plus Years

Sales of previously owned homes rose 4.4% in March to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million, according to a Friday report from the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March from a downwardly revised 5.47 million in February.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales increasing 2.5 percent to a pace of 5.60 million units in March.

Total housing inventory at the end of March increased 5.8% to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.6% lower than a year ago (1.96 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 22 straight months. In fact, 48% of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

Northeast Ohio sales barely rose in March, posting a 1.1 percent gain from a year before.

Buyers closed on purchases of 12,245 homes, at an average price of $163,382 - up 6.2 percent from the same month of past year. That's a 4 percent increase over the prior month.

That beat the record set in January as the strongest sales since February 2007, and was 5.9 percent above a year ago.

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In the city of Chicago, the increases have been even stronger, with sales up 15.3 percent and the median single-family home price at $235,000 - an increase of 14.6 percent. The median price of single-family homes in DuPage County was $312,000.

"A growing pool of all types of buyers is competing for the lackluster amount of existing homes on the market", Yun said, advocating for builders to pick up the pace of new construction.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from the same month of last year, and the 61st consecutive month of year-over-year gains. But the housing market, broadly, still is tipped in favor of sellers. Properties stayed on the market for only 34 days.

Home loan costs had been climbing after President Donald Trump won the November election, under the belief that the government would engage in forms of stimulus such as tax cuts and greater deficits that could cause higher levels of inflation.

In the Northeast, existing-home sales jumped 10.1 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 million, up 4.1 percent from a year ago.

He added, "The biggest opportunity in the spring housing market may be the temporary drop in mortgage rates. Don't get frustrated by losing out on a home and know the right one will eventually come along in due time".

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