Existing Home Sales Register 6.1 percent increase during March

Existing Home Sales Register 6.1 percent increase during March

Existing home sales witnessed an increase by 6.1 percent during March reaching the highest level in 18 months. The National Association of Realtors report suggests that on an annual rate of 5.19 million units, the housing market is witnessing the strongest period in 18 months.

The existing home sales have grown at the highest percentage in March, since December 2010. Against the media forecast of 5.03 million units on annualized basis, the current figures bring in positive surprise. The housing market has been supported by low mortgage rates, higher employment and improvement in the weather after severe cold led to decline in the sales.

On an unadjusted basis, the house purchases were up by 13.5 percent in March compared to the same month last year. The National Association of Realtors report also indicated that median existing house price increased to $212,100 compared to $196,700 during the same month last year. The single-family home sales increased by 5.5 percent to 4.59 million units annual rate.

In the Midwest, existing home sales witnessed the biggest jump at 10.1 percent followed by 6.9 percent in the Northeast. In the West, the sales were higher by 6.3 percent followed by 3.8 percent gains in the South.

The figures for March included 10 percent share of distressed properties compared to 11 percent during February. 24 percent of the transactions involved cash dealing. In March 30 percent of the buyers were first time home buyers, according to NAR report. Real estate experts consider 40-45 percent first time buyers as a strong indication of housing recovery.

With the strength in the labor market, real estate sector is expected to remain strong. The lower supply is expected to remain in the coming months and could lead to higher price for real estate across the country. The average rate of 30-year mortgage remained at 3.67 percent last week.