Source: Michelle Wickett, Senior Loan Originator, Axia Home Loans
“Ah, might as well jump.” Van Halen. Existing Home Sales jumped in March, following February’s slump. But March Housing Starts disappointed, coming in below expectations. Will there be enough inventory options for homebuyers?
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that March Existing Home Sales jumped 5.1 percent from February’s decline to an annual rate of 5.33 million units, just above the 5.30 million expected. Existing Home Sales measure the number and prices of existing single-family homes, condos and co-op sales over a one-month period. The good news is sales rose in all four regions of the country. Plus, Existing Home Sales were up 1.5 percent from a year ago.
However, Housing Starts (when excavation begins on a home) declined 9.2 percent in March from February to an annual rate of 1.089 million units. Single family Housing Starts fell 9.2 percent from February to March, and multi-family dwellings fell 8.5 percent. Despite the month-to-month decline, Housing Starts are up 14.2 percent in March 2016 from a year ago.
The availability of homes for homebuyers still falls short in many areas around the country. In fact, NAR reported that March had 4.5 months worth of existing housing inventory for homebuyers. A six-month supply is viewed as normal. That inventory gap might not be filled by new construction. Building Permits, which are a sign of future construction, declined 7.7 percent from February to March 2016, hitting a 12-month low of 1.09 million units.
When that perfect home is found, however, home loan rates are still hovering in historic territory, which bodes well for consumers.
If you or someone you know has any questions about current rates or home loan products, please email or call me.