Skip down to page content. ↓
May 2016 News
Existing Home Sales Report
Based on data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), boosted by big gains in the Northeast and Midwest, existing-home sales made a comeback in March and are slightly up from a year ago.
Sales of existing homes in March (including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops), grew 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million from a downwardly revised 5.07 million in February. Sales increased in all of the nation's four major regions and are slightly higher (1.5 percent) than March 2015.
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated that home sales had a nice comeback in March on the heels of February's unusually large tapering. "Closings came back in force last month as a greater number of buyers – mostly in the Northeast and Midwest – overcame depressed inventory levels and steady price growth to close on a home," Yun said. He added that, "Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures."
Key Data Takeways
Mixed News for First-Time Buyers
First-time buyers represented 30 percent of the market in March, the same as in March last year. First-time buyers across 2015 overall also represented an average of 30 percent.
Overall, there's mixed news. On the positive front, according to data from Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.69 percent in March. This was a very slight increase from 3.66 percent in February, but the rate has stayed below 4 percent for eight straight months. The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent. Of course, from a historical perspective across decades, rates are extremely low which benefits first-time buyers. There's no guarantee that things won't change, but for now, interest rates are really attractive. That's the good news.
On the other hand, according to National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Tom Salomone, while there were slight improvements, mortgage credit is still challenging to obtain for many first-time buyers and middle-income households. Salmone said, "Reducing the Federal Housing Administration's annual mortgage insurance premium rate and repealing its life-of-loan policy requirement would certainly expand options for more of these buyers." NAR's President added that "these changes would save consumers money and further strengthen the FHA's program by enticing more creditworthy borrowers to seek out FHA-insured loans."
We'll continue to keep an eye on issues affecting first-time buyers here in the Newsletter. For detailed local information or a referral to proven lenders we trust, give us call today!
Steps to Enhance Curb Appeal
It's important for sellers to do what they can to get their home to stand out. Here are five quick tips to generate some excitement for your home in today's market.
By following these tips, you will be able to capture the hearts and minds of today's buyers, as well as improve your chances for a quick sale at the best price possible.
When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!