‘Homes are selling in record time and prices keep rising’ – National Association of Realtors

The median sale price of an existing home in the United States was $329,100 in March, up 17.2 percent from a year earlier, when a 3 to 5 percent annual increase is considered healthy, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors, a trade group.

Nationwide, housing inventory was at 1.07 million units at the end of March, just above its record low of 1.03 million the prior month and down 28.2 percent from a year earlier, the group said on Thursday.

Sales of new single-family houses soared the highest level since 2006 in March, the Census Bureau reported on Friday, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.021 million, up 21 percent from February. The typical new home sold for $330,800, down from its recent peak of $365,300 in December.

Existing homes typically sold in 18 days, a record speed. Normally, 60 days is typical, Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, told Stefanos Chen of The New York Times.

When the housing market peaks will depend largely on where you live and how the pandemic continues to reorder buyer priorities, but it will hinge on two trends: rising mortgage rates and incredibly tight inventory in some markets, which will likely keep demand strong through the rest of 2021, even as price growth moderates, several analysts said.

In Manhattan, where commercial real estate was battered and home buyers fanned outward to surrounding suburbs in search of affordability and more space, the sales market fell off at the beginning of the pandemic but appears to have turned the corner.

“The rate at which homes are selling nationally is not sustainable, but in New York, the uptick is just getting started,” said Nancy Wu, an economist for StreetEasy, a listing website.

In the week ending April 11, there were 783 new signed contracts citywide, the highest since the company began tracking weekly pending sales in 2019, when the peak was 491 contracts, she said.

Source : The New York Times