After February saw a dip in the number of existing homes sold, a new 10-year record was set in March.
Last month, existing home sales jumped by 4.4%, a massive single-month change – particularly for the current housing market that is experiencing a major housing shortage.
After the jump, March set a new seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million existing homes sold.
The jump in existing home sales can be attributed mostly to the changing seasons. Spring tends to be a popular time to buy and sell homes, and if March was any indication then this year should be ideal for both homeowners looking to sell and prospective home buyers.
The shortage of homes across the nation made it so existing homes sold at a quick pace. Those looking to buy a home may still have a hard time getting the right place.
However, home buyers should feel confident knowing that there are homes being added to the market.
Housing inventory rose in most areas across the country with sizeable gains in available housing coming in the Northeast and Midwest.
Only the West saw a drop in the number of existing homes from February.
If nothing else, March’s existing homes report shows that the busy spring buying season in here. With mortgage rates dropping to their lowest levels of the year, this could be the perfect time to get serious with a home search.
About Existing Home Sales
Each month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tracks the number of homes sold. The existing home sales report is part of this, and it tracks all homes that are not newly built. This includes houses, townhouses, co-ops and condos.
Last month, the total number of existing homes sold rose dramatically from February. In fact, March saw the highest seasonally adjusted annual rate since February of 2007.
The jump in sales could be attributed to growing confidence from both home buyers and home sellers. Any major worries about the housing market have faded away, and many are now seeing it as a good place to invest their money.
Housing demand was particularly strong in March. Even though the market is a seller’s market, home buyers are still eager to purchase a new property.
The only worrying number was the rise in home prices. Home prices have been rising steadily for a few years, and the median price for existing homes rose to $236,400 in March.
Fortunately, mortgage rates have been dropping. The lower rates get, the lower monthly payments become – and sometimes they get low enough to counteract rising home prices.
The Seller’s Market Continues
In March, the total housing inventory (the total number of home available) rose by 5.8%, a decent mark. However, this is lower than the number of homes available at this time last year.
Along with that, the unsold inventory held at 3.8 month supply. Unsold inventory is a fictional statistic that measures how long it would take to sell every home on the market assuming that buyer demand remains constant and no homes are added to the market.
While unsold inventory isn’t a real thing, it represents just how quickly homes are being sold. According to the numbers, homes are going fast.
The current seller’s market will likely continue for the foreseeable future. There just aren’t enough homes available for buyers to set the terms, and many home buyers have had to settle for bidding wars to get their homes.
There are ways around this, however. Also, not every home buying turns into a bidding war.
With rates at a 2017-low, home buyers may want to consider locking in on rates soon – especially if they find the perfect home.
Current Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates were rising through the beginning of 2017, but they have recently dropped to much lower levels.
Also, current rates are much lower than they have been historically. Rates are expected to rise throughout the year, so keeping track of rates could help when looking to buy a home.