Existing Home Sales Hit Ten-Year High in March with 4.4% Increase

A house recently sold in Boise

Existing Home Sales Hit Ten-Year High in March with 4.4% Increase

The Illinois Realtors reported Friday a 13.1 percent jump in sales and a 10 percent climb in the median price over the past year in the Chicago area. March's sales pace is 5.9% above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007.

Sales activity in the near-term is expected to stay restricted by still-low levels of inventory and rapidly rising prices that continue to outstrip income growth, stated TD Economics.

While the number of homes on the market rose 5.8% to 1.83 million units last month, housing inventory was down 6.6% from one year ago, implying that demand is outweighing supply.

Distressed sales were 6% of the total in March, which are down from 8% a year ago. And 48 percent of the existing homes that sold in March had been on the market for less than a month, the national Realtors said. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 16% and 14%, respectively. This means there are essentially more buyers chasing fewer properties.

"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.

Since December existing home sales activity in the US has been very volatile. And many owners who escaped the downturn unharmed chose to refinance their mortgages at extremely low rates, possibly making them hesitant to move to a new house that could increase their monthly costs.

"The spring housing market is off to an early and strong start, said realtor.com Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner, Ph.D".

NAR added that properties typically remained on the market for 34 days in March, compared to 45 days in February.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March rose 6.8 percentage points to $236,400, which marks the 61st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

The NAR's existing home sales data measures sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation overall, providing breakdowns for the West, Midwest, South and Northeast regions of the U.S. These figures also include condos and co-ops. 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.

Sales are "doing much better than I anticipated, particularly in light of affordability challenges", Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at NAR said, according to the Journal.

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