Existing-home sales increased 4.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is the highest level in the past ten years.
“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “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. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”
The total housing inventory rose 5.8% to 1.83 million homes available for sale, while the median existing home price stood at $236,400, a 6.8% increase from March 2016.
Distressed sales were 6% of the total in March, which are down from 8% a year ago. Five percent of sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 16% and 14%, respectively.
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