US Housing Market Well Positioned for Busy Summer Home Buying Season
As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market.
Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.
One thing's for sure: The next few months should be very interesting from a national housing market perspective!
What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know About Market Activity
According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.
In fact, purchases increased 6.1 percent to a 5.19 million annualized rate, which is the highest level it's been since September 2013.
On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July.
Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:
- The share of first-time buyers increased slightly while distressed properties made up a smaller part of the market
- The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month.
- In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010.
- Figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the group's index of purchase applications increased in recent weeks to the highest level since June 2013.
- The Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 0.5 percent to 2,107.96 recently, which is within 12 points of a record high.
- More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
- In fact, the number of existing properties for sale increased 5.3 percent to 2 million in March from a month earlier.
- And sellers' instincts about buyer interests appear to be spot on. For instance, 40 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
- The median price of an existing home jumped 7.8 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, to $212,100. That's the most since February 2014.
- Meanwhile, the cost of a purchased house was 5.4 percent higher in February from the same time last year, which is tied with May 2014 for the biggest gain.
- Purchases increased in all four U.S. regions, led by a 10.1 percent increase in the Midwest. They were up 6.9 percent in the Northeast, 6.3 percent in the West and 3.8 percent in the South.
- Sales of single-family homes rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million, which is the most it's been since August 2013.
- Meanwhile, closings on multifamily properties (including condominiums) increased 11.1 percent.
- Purchases of distressed properties represented 10 percent of the total, which is down from 11 percent in February.
- Also, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.67 percent recently. The rate was 3.59 percent in February, which was the lowest in almost two years.
One Small Concern is On the Minds of Experts
Experts did express concerns about how fast home prices were rising, which they credited in part to low housing inventory. Thus, economists said the best way to fix that is to increase the supply of homes for sale on the market.
It will be interesting to see if enough sellers enter the market in the next couple of months to temper those price increases.
We're Your Real Estate Market Experts!
We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight!
Please check back here soon for more updates on the state of the housing market. We're confident that having this knowledge will help you make savvier decisions as a buyer or seller.