Home sales have reached their highest point since about a year ago. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index reached 112.3 in February, an increase of 5.5 percent from January. The Index hasn't been this high since last April, when it reached 113.6. What's more, this is the second highest index reading since 112.5 in May 2006.
More Houses on the Market . . .
The gain in pending home sales can be attributed partly to a modest increase in supply. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, this small rise in the number of available listings coupled with an increase in demand due to warmer weather led to the upswing in contract signings. "The stock market's continued rise and steady hiring in most markets is spurring significant interest in buying," he adds, "as well as the expectation from some households that delaying their home search may mean paying higher interest rates later this year."
. . . But More Supply Is Still Needed
The market, however, is experiencing a shortage of lower- and mid-priced homes. Unfortunately, as a result, multiple-offer situations are becoming more common. This, according to Yun, could lead to "ebbs and flows" in sales activity as buyers quickly snap up homes that become available on the market. Overall, existing-home sales are expected to reach 5.57 million in 2017. This is 2.3 percent higher than the 5.45 million sales in 2016. Sales saw an increase of 3.8 percent for all of 2016. Home Prices Continue to Increase
Job security may be improving, but housing affordability isn't keeping pace. In some areas of the country, home prices are still three times as much as income, partly because of the lack of supply. Home prices should increase around 4 percent in 2017; in comparison, prices climbed an additional 5.1 percent in 2016. To improve housing affordability and increase the country's low rate of home ownership, there will need to be a significant increase in the supply of both new and existing homes.
The Pending Home Sales Index Regional Contract Activity
Northeast - The Pending Home Sales Index reached 102.1; an increase of 3.5 percent from January and 6.6 percent from February 2016.
Midwest - The Pending Home Sales Index reached 110.8; an increase of 11.4 percent from January and a decrease of 0.6 percent from February 2016.
South - The Pending Home Sales Index reached 127.8; an increase of 4.3 percent from January and 4.2 percent from February 2016.
West - The Pending Home Sales Index reached 97.5; an increase of 3.1 percent from January and 0.2 percent from February 2016.
County Market Update
The numbers are in for April… We
had 367 Single-family home sales in Essex County this past month, according to
MLSPin. Time from an Accepted Offer to the
Closing Date is an average of 59 days.
The average number of days to an offer is 42. These numbers are extraordinary—the homes
that sold in the month of April moved
fast! The lowest priced home
sold for $129,000 located on Union Court in Amesbury and the highest priced home sold for 2,662,500 located in Gloucester on Eastern Point Road. And a popular subject these days—MONTHS
OF INVENTORY as of April 30th we were at 2.69 months, still very
low. So with that being said, if you have had any thoughts of putting
your home on the market and selling it; NOW is the time to do it! Call THE MILITELLO TEAM today and put
our 40 years of experience to work for you.
THE MILITELLO TEAM:
Joesph Militello (978) 815-3877
Kathleen Militello (978) 500-1480