Mar 13, 2017
Buoyed in the wake of an improving economy, leaders at the National Association of Realtors are sounding confident notes regarding the health of the American residential real estate picture.
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” noted Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice-president of research for the industry group.
According to a recap of January numbers by Inman.com, existing home sales edged up by 3.3 percent with particularly strong growth in the West where prices doubled that rate. Midwestern sales lagged a bit dropping by a point and a half although the region’s $174,900 median price did represent an increase. Nationally, existing home prices moved upward by more than seven percent to $228,900, representing nearly half a decade of consecutive monthly year-over-year gains.
Single family, condominium and co-op residential stock all showed increases in both sales and price. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained steady from December and showed a decline against the same month last year.
Though home sales are flourishing, the difficulty of low inventory, which has dogged the industry for years, remains a persistent issue. While figures did climb a little with nearly 1.7 million homes on the market, that’s still more than seven points below figures from the previous January.
Overall, January’s numbers appear to represent a resumption of 2016’s strong sales after a slight cool down in the market during December.