US home resales rose more than expected in March to the highest level in more than a decade as more homes came on the market and were quickly snapped up by consumers.
The Illinois Realtors reported Friday a 13.1 percent jump in sales and a 10 percent climb in the median price over the previous year in the Chicago area.
The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month. Sales of multifamily homes increased 5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units. "Sales may be soaring, but inventory isn't". Inventory increased, as well, by 5.8 percent to 1.83 million-though still 6.6 percent below one year prior.
Tight inventory is still the biggest factor in the marketplace: supply was 6.6% lower compared to a year ago.
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In the city of Chicago, the increases have been even stronger, with sales up 15.3 percent and the median single-family home price at $235,000 - an increase of 14.6 percent. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 16% and 14%, respectively.
Real estate agents, he added, are hoping that more homeowners decide to put their properties on the market.
"A growing pool of all types of buyers is competing for the lackluster amount of existing homes on the market", he said. The median existing home price for all housing types in March came in at $236,400, up 6.8% from March 2016 when it was $221,400.
The metropolitan areas with the fewest days on market in March, according to data from realtor.com®, were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (24 days); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (25 days); Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. But the housing market, broadly, still is tipped in favor of sellers.
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Existing-home sales in the South and West covered less ground in March, with sales in the South rising 3.4 percent to 2.42 million, with a median price of $210,600, and sales in the West falling 1.6 percent to 1.22 million, with a median price of $347,500. The unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent in March to near a 10-year low.
And it took an average of 34 days to complete a sale, compared to 47 days a year ago.
The consequences can be seen in home values and days on the market.
Nationwide chief economist David Berson says the large increase in existing home sales was expected since pending home sales, an earlier indicator, were strong. Yet the median price in Kane climbed just 6 percent to $212,000, while Will's prices were up 11.8 percent to $212,250.
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