Home sales skyrocket to fastest pace in a decade

A new report from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of previously owned homes rose to its fastest pace in a decade, indicating the housing market is very solid.

“This is a very broad-based recovery” in the housing market, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said. “Both sales, as well as prices, are running very solidly,” and “buyers are not being deterred by these affordability challenges.”

Here are some key points from the report:

  • Contract closings jumped 4.4 percent to a 5.71 million annual rate (forecast was 5.60 million), the highest since February 2007, after a revised 5.47 million the prior month

  • Median sales price rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier to $236,400

  • Inventory of available properties fell 6.6 percent from March 2016 to 1.83 million, marking the 22nd straight year-over-year decline

  • March sales rose in three of four regions, including a 3.4 percent increase in the South and a 1.6 percent drop in the West

  • At the current pace, it would take 3.8 months to sell the homes on the market, unchanged from February; Realtors’ group considers less than a five months’ supply as consistent with a tight market

  • Single-family home sales increased 4.3 percent last month to an annual rate of 5.08 million

  • Purchases of condominium and co-op units rose 5 percent to a 630,000 pace

  • First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of all sales in March, unchanged from February

  • Homes sold in 34 days, compared with 45 days in February and 47 days in March 2016

According to Bloomberg, the positive trends in the report are a result of steady hiring and healthier household finances.

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