Five point seventy-one million (5.71M) new home sales consisted of single-family homes and townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments were recorded in March based on the latest datafrom the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). This number is a 4.4 percent increase from the previous month’s 5.47 million, with the highest charted sales since February 2007.
Single family home sales rose from 4.87 million in February by 4.3 percent to 5.08 million in March. This is a 6.1 increase compared to the sales record of the previous year. An increase was also seen in condominium sales which marched by 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units.
When it comes to the median price of existing homes (across all home types), March 2017 reported an average of $236,400. This is a rise of 6.8 percent compared to the median price of $221,400 during the same time a year ago. Distinctively, the median price for single-family abodes rose by 6.6 percent on an annual basis to $237,800 while the median price for condo homes rose by 8 percent to $224,700 this year.
Although the number of available housing still decreased compared to last year’s records, inventory noted an increase of 5.8 percent from February’s to 1.83 million units in March. However, the fact that this is the 22nd month of year-over-year decline in available housing remains un-ignorable.
- First time homebuyers made up 32 percent of the market, 2 percent up from a year ago while individual investors took 15 percent of the share.
- Five percent of the sold properties were foreclosed homes while short sales made up one percent
- In the Northeast, the annual rate of sales is at 760,000, a 4.1. percent compared to the previous year’s. The average price of a home in the Northeast rose by 2.8 percent (annual increase) to $260,800.
- A jump of 9.2 percent was also noted in the Midwest to an annual rate of 1.31 million, up by 3.1 percent from a year ago. The median home price now rose to $183,000 by 6.2 percent.
- The South also registered an increase in sales compared to 2016 numbers, reporting 2.42 million units which is a 3.4 percent increase from the previous year. Average home price in the South is $210,600.
- Meanwhile in the West, sales declined by 1.6 percent, the only reported decrease – to an annual rate of 1.22 million. However, this is still 5.2 percent higher compared to the same time a year ago. Median home price in the West is at $347,500.
“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,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.
Commenting on the direct correlation of inventory and home prices, he adds: “Until we see significant and sustained multi-month increases in housing starts, prices will continue to far outpace incomes and put pressure on those trying to buy.”