US Home Sales Shoot up to 10-year High - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

US Home Sales Shoot up to 10-year High

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- Americans purchased homes in March at the fastest pace in over a decade, a strong start to the traditional spring buying season.
    
Sales of existing homes climbed 4.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. This was the fastest sales rate since February 2007.
    
The U.S. housing market faces something of a split personality: A stable economy has intensified demand from would-be buyers, but the number of properties listed for sale has been steadily fading. The result of this trend is prices rising faster than incomes, homes staying on the market for fewer days and a limit on just how much home sales can grow. It's a situation that rewards would-be buyers who can act quickly and decisively.
    
The inventory shortage largely reflects the legacy of a housing bubble that began to burst a decade ago.
    
Foreclosed properties were snapped up by investors who turned the homes into income-generating rentals, depriving the market of supply. And many owners who escaped the downturn unharmed chose to refinance their mortgages at extremely low rates, possibly making them hesitant to move to a new house that could increase their monthly costs.
    
This mismatch between supply and demand can be seen in two simple figures tracked by the Realtors.
    
Sales have risen 5.9 percent over the past year, but the inventory of homes for sale has fallen 6.6 percent to 1.83 million properties. This means there are essentially more buyers chasing fewer properties.
    
The consequences can be seen in home values and days on the market. The median sales price in March climbed 6.8 percent over the past year to $236,400, significantly outpacing wage growth. And it took an average of 34 days to complete a sale, compared to 47 days a year ago.
    
In March, sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest and South but declined in the West.
    
Demand might increase further as mortgage rates began to dip in recent weeks.
    
Home loan costs had been climbing after President Donald Trump won the November election, under the belief that the government would engage in forms of stimulus such as tax cuts and greater deficits that could cause higher levels of inflation. But major initiatives such as tax reform have stalled in recent weeks as the administration has yet to put forward a proposal, prompting more doubts as to when and whether any stimulus might arrive.
    
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans declined to 3.97 percent this week from 4.08 percent last week. The average is now at its lowest level in five months.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 10:54 AM EDT2017-05-23 14:54:39 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 11:54 AM EDT2017-05-23 15:54:33 GMT

     One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    More

     One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    More
  • Arson Blamed for Wicomico County House Fire

    Arson Blamed for Wicomico County House Fire

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 9:31 AM EDT2017-05-23 13:31:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 9:50 AM EDT2017-05-23 13:50:19 GMT
    Possible arson caused a house fire on Winder Street in Salisbury on Monday.Possible arson caused a house fire on Winder Street in Salisbury on Monday.

    Fire officials are investigating a house fire that happened Monday night in Wicomico County, which is believed to be arson. 

    More

    Fire officials are investigating a house fire, which is believed to be arson, that happened Monday night in Wicomico County.

    More
  • Man Shot in Leg in Dover

    Man Shot in Leg in Dover

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 8:59 AM EDT2017-05-23 12:59:58 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 9:13 AM EDT2017-05-23 13:13:59 GMT
    A man was shot near Walker and Saulsbury roads in Dover early Tuesday morning.A man was shot near Walker and Saulsbury roads in Dover early Tuesday morning.

     A man was shot in the leg near a 7-Eleven in Dover early Tuesday morning, according to police. 

    More

     A man was shot in the leg near a 7-Eleven in Dover early Tuesday morning, according to police. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices