Advertisment Home resales south of the border strengthened more than expected in March to the highest level in more than a decade.
USA existing home sales grew in the month of March by 4.4 percent in sequential terms to an annualized 5.71 million. March's sales pace is 5.9% above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007. However, inventory is still 6.6 percent lower than a year ago (1.96 million) and has been dropping year-over-year for 22 straight months. Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. "Sales may be soaring, but inventory isn't".
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 previous year.
Total housing inventory experienced a boost as well, with a 5.8 percentage point jump to 1.83 million homes for sale - a much-needed jump from the rock bottom levels experienced in the last few months.
NAR added that properties typically remained on the market for 34 days in March, compared to 45 days in February.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says the month's existing-home sales show the resilience among consumers in the face of rising mortgage interest rates and tight inventory.
"Last month's swift price gains and the remarkably short time a home was on the market are directly the result of the homebuilding industry's struggle to meet the dire need for more new homes", said Yun.
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"The sales activity in March is a welcomed start to the traditional home-buying season", Pete Kopf, the association's president, said in a news release.
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.
"A growing pool of all types of buyers is competing for the lackluster amount of existing homes on the market", Yun said.
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.
Existing-home sales in the South rose 3.4% in March to an annual rate of 2.42 million and are 8.5% higher than March 2016 sales.
In the West, existing-home sales decreased 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million.
The consequences can be seen in home values and days on the market.