KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Apr 24, 2017
March Home Sales
Existing Home Sales – Existing home sales increased 4.4% m/m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million units in March, which was the fastest pace since February 2007. Compared to 12 months ago, existing home sales were up 8.3%. We believe that a growing first-time homebuyers market and high turnover in the labor market are two factors responsible for the housing market momentum. The growth in existing home sales is even more remarkable considering the low inventory level in the housing market. Unsold inventory represented 3.8 months of supply – far below the 6 months of supply that is regarded as normal. Homes were sold quickly after listing. Typical homes stayed on the market for just 34 days in March, vs. 47 days a year ago. For realtors and loan officers, this means that while homebuyers may need more time finding the right home, once they have found the right home, they will act fast to close the sale. The tight housing market condition continued to drive home prices higher, with the median home price up 6.8% from a year ago to $236,400. On the positive side, we have seen mortgage rates come down over the past few weeks, which should slow the fall in housing affordability.
For the first quarter, existing home sales increased by around 5% from a year ago. Based on trends in mortgage applications for home purchases, which is a leading indicator for existing home sales, we believe existing home sales will likely remain at the 5.7 million unit level in April.