Existing-home sales saw a surprising uptick in the U.S. last month. Despite extraordinarily tight market conditions in many markets, many prospective homebuyers are finding ways to satiate their homeowning needs.
The National Association of Realtors reported an impressive increase of more than 1% month-over-month for existing-home sales. Although strong housing demand sustained a monthly gain, March sales were still down slightly on an annual basis.
Sales growth remains modest because high home prices, low housing inventory, and rising mortgage rates are limiting activity in the housing market. Homes are flying off the market faster than ever, and the Spring homebuying season is far from over.
- Existing-home sales increased 1.1% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted pace of 5.60 million
- Housing inventory is still dropping: listings are down 7.2% from a year earlier
- Homes sold in an average of 30 days last month, down from 34 days a year ago
U.S. sales of existing homes increased 1.1 percent on a monthly basis in March, which suggests that buyers are undeterred by the dwindling number of properties available on the market.
The housing market continues to be in the grip of an inventory crunch that has restricted sales and growth in home ownership. Even as the overall economy has improved, there has been a 7.2 percent decline in listing from a year ago to just 1.67 million homes.
There has been an improvement in new listings in a sign that the decline could bottom out this year. But rising mortgage rates are also making it less likely that homeowners will choose to sell in order to buy another property.
Homes stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 34 days a year ago in a sign that the lack of inventory is prompting buyers to sign contracts quickly.
The shortage is also causing prices to grow at roughly double the pace of wages. The median sales price has risen 5.8 percent from a year ago to $250,400.
View the original article at CNBC