Existing home sales down
Existing home sales, or completed transactions, fell 2.6 percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is 5.2 percent above March 2011, and inventory levels are down 1.3 percent, which NAR calls “signs of stabilization.” The trade group continues their message of cautious optimism toward a housing recovery.
Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the recovery is in the process of settling into a higher level of home sales. “The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases.”
Home prices, home sales
Although inventory levels slid slightly, the current levels remain at a 6.3 month supply at the current sales pace in March, just as in February, but NAR notes that listed inventory is 21.8 percent below March 2011 and below the record of 4.04 million in July 2007.
“We were expecting a seasonal increase in home listings, but a lack of inventory has suddenly become an issue in several markets with not enough homes for sale in relation to buyer interest,” Yun said. “Home sales could be held back because of supply factors and not by demand – we’re already seeing this in the Western states and in South Florida.”
Traffic up, interest rates down
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.95 percent in March, up from a record low 3.89 percent in February; the rate was 4.84 percent in March 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.
Original post by Tara Steele