US existing home sales surged in March hitting levels not seen since 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR reported that existing home sales climbed 4.4% for March 2017 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million units, based upon the report issued by the NAR.
■ Existing homes are still significantly cheaper than newly constructed homes by approximately 25.3%.
■ Existing homes sold for a median $237,800, up 6.6% over the same month a year earlier.
■ Newly constructed homes sold for a median $296,200 in February 2017, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
■ Sales were up 4.3% from February and 6.1% from the same month in the previous year.
■ Condos and co-ops also moved up higher; both monthly and annual sales rose 5% in March.
■ Prices rose even faster, at 8% annually, to reach a median $224,700.
■ Inventory increased 5.8% at the end of March from a month earlier, but it was still down 6.6% from a year earlier, representing just a 3.8-month supply.
■ U.S. housing starts declined 6.8% in March, but were up 8.1% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2016.
The trend does not track with the constricting metrics based upon conventional market inventory.
As expected, the 1.83 million units of homes for sale for March 2017 did increase by 5.8%. What is even more telling is that according to the NAR, properties typically remained on the market for 34 days in March, as compared to 45 days in February.
The uptick in March is in some ways the result of lower February home resales.
Housing shortages continue to push prices higher, significantly shortening the amount of time a home stays on the market until it is sold.