The number of signed contracts to buy homes rose in March to the highest level in three years. The National Association of Realtors stated its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 1.5% to 105.7, the highest since April 2010. It is also above February’s reading of 104.1.
Signed contracts are seven percent higher than a year earlier, which means that in the next month or two these will become completed sales. However, sales of previously occupied homes decreased in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.92 million, from February’s 4.95 million.
Total existing-home sale are projected to increase close to seven percent from 2012 to nearly five million sales this year, with the median existing-home price is estimated to rise about 7.5%. An index reaching 100 is the average level of contract activity during 2001, when home sales were between 5 million to 5.5 million.
The National Association of Realtors state that the index for Northeast was unchanged at 82.8 for March, but this is still 6.3% higher than March of last year. The Midwest index increased 0.3% to 103.8, which is 13.7% higher than a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.7% to 120, an increase of 10.4% from March 2012. The West index increased 1.5% to 102.9, but that is a 4.3% decrease from March of last year.
Steady job increase and low mortgage rates have helped drive home sales up in the past year. Buyer traffic has increased 25% since last year, and the rising demand coupled with low supply of homes is fueling home construction.
Builders started work on more than 1 million homes at an annual rate in March, which is the first time that threshold has been reached in five years. Housing recovery is boosting economic growth, helping by creating construction jobs and increasing home prices.
If you are looking to purchase or sell real estate, feel free to contact Pulgini & Norton, LLP at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046, or email us with any questions you may have. Our attorneys offer nearly 40 years of combined legal experience and provide thorough, timely, and results-driven service in many aspects of both residential and commercial real estate.
Pending home sales at a 3-year high, USA Today, April 29, 2013