The Home Buyer's Korner

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April 29th, 2015

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Pending Home Sales for March

Homes Sales

Pending Homes Sales bring some sorely needed good news for housing as it points to more home buyers entering the market in March. Signed home purchase agreement to buy an existing home rose 1.1 percent from an upwardly revised February reading, according to a monthly index from the National Association of Realtors. Pending Home Sales are now 11.1 percent higher on a year over year average from this time last year and running at its highest level since June, 2013.

The strongest areas of demand appears over several parts of the country with the most emphasis coming from metro areas that have seen solid job gains and overall better economic growth over the past year that in suburban and rural part of the country.  There also appears to be a shift in the definition of home buyers over the past years as we see an increasing number of traditional home buyers who appear to be replacing cash-paying investors.

The average contract interest rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has below 4 percent since the beginning of the year, giving home buyers added purchasing power, however mortgage purchase applications did stall last week but are higher than they were a month ago.

The big issue for housing, is a tight supply of homes for sale, amid strong demand, which could accelerate price gains that could mirror the rapid increases of last year. Homes in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer, according to the National Association of Realtors, indicating competition is heating up and could push home prices even further out of the reach of many would-be home buyers.

Pending home sales in the Northeast fell 1.5 percent month-to-month, but are 0.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, sales fell 2.5 percent monthly, but 11.3 percent higher year-over-year. Sales increased in the South by 4 percent monthly, but 12.4 higher year-over-year and in the West they rose 1.7 monthly and 15.6 higher year-over-year.

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