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|Posté le: Lun 10 Avr - 14:31 (2017) Sujet du message: Pending home sales jumped sharply in the US in February
|Pending home sales jumped sharply in the US in February
Pending home sales in the United States rebounded sharply in February to their highest level in nearly a year and second highest level in over a decade, the latest index shows.
The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that all major regions saw a notable hike in contract activity last month despite a disappointing January.
The index increased by 5.5%, some 2.6% above a year ago and the highest it has been since last April and the second highest since May 2006.
Existing home sales are forecast to be around 5.57 million this year, an increase of 2.3% from 2016 and the national median existing home price this year is expected to increase around 4%. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8% and prices rose 5.1%.
A breakdown of the index figures show that pending sales in the Northeast rose 3.4% in February and are now 6.6% above a year ago while in the Midwest they were up 11.4% but is still 0.6% lower than February 2016.
Pending home sales in the South were up 4.3% and are now 4.2% above last February and in the West they increased 3.1% but are still just 0.2% higher than a year ago.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that the rise in pending sales is proof that demand is rising at the start of the spring market. ‘Buyers came back in force last month as a modest, seasonal uptick in listings were enough to fuel an increase in contract signings throughout the country,’ he explained.
‘The stock market’s continued rise and steady hiring in most markets is spurring significant interest in buying, as well as the expectation from some households that delaying their home search may mean paying higher interest rates later this year. Last month being the warmest February in decades also played a role in kick starting prospective buyers’ house hunt,’ he added.
Looking ahead to the busy spring months, Yun expects to see continued ebbs and flows in activity as new supply struggles to replace listings that are going under contract at a very quick pace. This is especially the case at the lower and mid-market price ranges, where choices are minimal and prices are being bid higher by multiple offers.
‘The homes most buyers are in the market for are unfortunately the most difficult to find and ultimately buy. The country’s healthy labour market is translating to greater job security, but affordability is not improving because home prices in some areas are still outpacing incomes by three times or more because of tight supply,’ Yun pointed out.
‘How much new and existing inventory there is on the market this spring will determine if sales can reach their full potential and finally start reversing the nation’s low home ownership rate,’ he added.