February 23, 2018

US home sales shoot up to 10-year high

21 April 2017, 08:44 | Melvin Schneider

US home sales shoot up to 10-year high

US home sales shoot up to 10-year high

"With existing home sales for March at the highest level since the 2008 recession, the limited number of homes that are on the market are likely to move fast".

USA existing home sales grew in the month of March by 4.4 percent in sequential terms to an annualized 5.71 million. "Over the a year ago home sales under $100,000 fell 7.1 percent while sales between $500,000 and $750,000 went up by 32.1 percent, due to builders' focus on the higher-end market". The median price in the Northeast was $260,800, up 2.8% compared with last March.

In Cook County, sales of single-family homes and condos were up 9.9 percent over the previous year, with prices up 11.6 percent to a $240,000 median price. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. The median price in the West was $347,500, up 8% from March 2016.

Inventory data from reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in March were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 24 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 25 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., both at 28 days; and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., 31 days. The low inventory levels are keeping upward pressure on prices, with the median price advancing 6.8% y/y - a strong print despite a slight deceleration from the 7.6% pace in the prior month.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales also increased significantly by 9.2% to an annual rate of 1.31 million and are now 3.1% higher than a year ago.

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It's possible that more Americans are devoting their incomes to housing as retail sales have struggled in recent months, said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

In a continuing trend, inventory remained at a tight 4.1-months' supply in March for single-family homes, and was at a 6.3-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors. That's the fastest sales rate since February 2007.

The percentage of first-time buyers was unchanged at 32% in March, and up from 30% in March 2016. The median price in the South was $210,600, up 8.6% from a year ago. "Don't get frustrated by losing out on a home and know the right one will eventually come along in due time".

In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped by 9.2% to an annual rate of 1.31 million in March and are now 3.1% higher than March 2016 sales.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales increasing 2.5 percent to a pace of 5.60 million units in March. Yet the median price in Kane climbed just 6 percent to $212,000, while Will's prices were up 11.8 percent to $212,250. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 16% and 14%, respectively.

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