Existing-home sales in March increased to the highest level since 2007 according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. The report saw sever shortages in overall supply and homes coming off the market faster than in months prior. Total existing home sales, completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.71 million in March, according to the report by NAR. It is an increase of 5.9% above last year’s pace, marking the strongest month of sales since February 2007.
Lawrence Yun who is the NAR chief economist, says existing sales had a serious comeback in March and the gains were led in the Northeast and Midwest.
“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” he said. “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 will go up as long as inventory does.”
Of importance in the New York City region, March existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 10.1 percent to an annual rate of 760,000, and are now 4.1 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $260,800, which is 2.8 percent above March 2016. All figures are good news for the state of the NYC property management industry.
The median existing-home price continued to rise, hitting $236,400 in March. This is up 6.8% from last year’s $221,400 and marks the 61st consecutive month of annual home-price increases. One of the major factors in the rising home prices has been competition as we have seen properties stayed on the market for 34 days in March. The is down significantly from 45 days in February and 47 days last year.
Short sales stayed on the market an average of 90 days in March as foreclosures usually sold in about 52 days. Non-distressed homes took the shortest time to sell at 32 days, the shortest time since NAR began tracking in May 2011. In fact, 48% of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month. First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in March, which is unchanged from February and up from 30 percent a year ago.