US home sales shoot up to 10-year high

US home sales shoot up to 10-year high

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes climbed 4.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million.

Advertisment Home resales south of the border strengthened more than expected in March to the highest level in more than a decade.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said "a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market".

Inventory increased 5.8% from February to 1.83 million in March, but remains 6.6% below last year's 1.96 million. "Sales will go up as long as inventory does".

This month's sales pace is 5.9 percentage points above March 2015 and is the fastest SAAR sales pace since February 2007.

Existing home sales soared in March to the highest pace in more than 10 years as homes sold significantly faster than last month and last year, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in March (18 percent in February), while short sales were discounted 14 percent (17 percent in February).

Economists have been predicting a "spring revival" since the beginning of the year thanks to hearty buyers who refuse to let low inventory keep them from finding the ideal home.

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The median existing-home price continued to rise, hitting $236,400 in March. Properties stayed on the market for only 34 days.

The unsold inventory at the end of March represents 3.8 months of supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from the end of February.

How did buying patterns vary across the country?

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 5.63 million rate.

Median price: $260,800, a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase. Sales of multifamily homes increased 5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units.

In the Midwest, home sales were up 3.1 percent from a year before.

Investors made up 15% of all purchases, little changed from a year ago. The median price in the West was $347,500, up 8% compared with the March 2016 median.

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