Home sales down in March, prices up on tight inventory


Monthly results can be choppy - March saw a sales drop in Lake County of 33, in LaPorte of 16 and in the four smaller counties of 30, while Porter made up some of that by rising 44 sales, a 27.3 percent gain over last March. 'The survey confirms that the lack of entry level supply is putting affordability pressures on too many buyers, especially those at the lower end of the market, where demand is the strongest, ' he said.

The total housing inventory rose 5.6% to 1.67 million homes available for sale, 7.2% lower than last March and the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year decline.

Homes remained a year 18, down in 3-4 days the deficiency of inventory is now allowing consumers to register contracts quickly. Existing-condo and -co-op sales came in at 610,000, a 5.2 percent increase from February, but a 3.2 percent decrease from the prior year. The average commitment rate in 2017 was 3.99%.

There were fewer all-cash sales in March-20 percent of transactions, down from 24 percent in February and 23 percent a year ago. Fifty percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month. "As a result, competition is swift and homes are going under contract in roughly a month, which is four days faster than previous year and a remarkable 17 days faster than March 2016". They jumped 8.8 percent from a year ago.

Read the NAR release. "There are simply not enough homes for sale in their price range", NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said in statement. "Supply conditions improve in higher-up price brackets, which means those trading up should see considerable interest in their home, as well as more listings to choose from during their own search".

First-time homebuyers comprised 30 percent of existing-home sales in March, up from 29 percent February.

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The study published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals that Hawaii has the lowest affordability score based on calculations using prices, mortgage figures and income data.

March's surge in new home sales and upward revisions to January and February sales data will probably not change economists' expectations that residential investment declined in the first quarter. Fifty percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

At March's sales pace it would take 5.2 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.4 months in February.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in March, but are still 3.2 percent below a year ago.

Existing-home sales account for 90% of the market and are calculated when a contract closes.