U.S. existing home sales hit 10-year high in March

U.S. existing home sales hit 10-year high in March

U.S. existing home sales hit 10-year high in March

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said existing home sales climbed 4.4% in March fueled by big gains in the Northeast and Midwest. The NAR reported February existing home sales declined 3.7 percent, missing analysts' estimates, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million units.

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 the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area, the typical listing period was longer, at 64 days, according to inventory data from Realtor.com. Unsold inventory now rests at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days. Five percent of sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales.

With a scant supply of homes available, sellers have been able to push prices higher and buyers are finding sharp price increases. (28 days); and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (31 days).

According to the NAR, the national median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $236,400, up 6.8% compared with March 2016, the 61st consecutive month of rising home prices. The median price of single-family homes in DuPage County was $312,000.

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"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. "A growing pool of all types of buyers is competing for the lackluster amount of existing homes on the market".

Single-family home sales were at a SAAR of 5.08 million - a 4.3 percentage point month-over-month increase and a 6.1 percentage point year-over-year increase. Sales were up 5.9 percent from a year before, based on seasonally adjusted annualized figures, and up 4.4 percent from February.

The number of home resales across the country jumped in March to reach its highest pace since 2007. Total sales in 2016 came in at 5.45 million to surpass 2015's total of 5.25 million as the most sales since 2006 when 6.48 million homes were sold. Six percent were distressed. Existing-home sales in the Midwest showed a similar path, up 9.2 percent to 1.31 million, with a median price of $183,000.

Northeast Ohio sales barely rose in March, posting a 1.1 percent gain from a year before. But the housing market, broadly, still is tipped in favor of sellers.

The Illinois Realtors reported Friday a 13.1 percent jump in sales and a 10 percent climb in the median price over the a year ago in the Chicago area.

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