Home Sales Surge Beating Expectations
Optimism was the overriding message from the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday, pointing to an increase of existing home sales in March that outpaced expectations. The increase of 6.1% was the largest since December 2010 and the annual rate of 5.19 million units in March reached levels not seen since September 2013. Strengthening inventory also points to a strong spring season, as a one month increase of 5.3% pushed the inventory of unsold homes to two million units, the highest levels reached since November. Further signs of an improving housing market were reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association, notably a 5% increase in loan applications to purchase homes. The increase matched the highest recent levels in June 2013. Although inventory levels have improved, supply still remains tight and prices continue to accelerate.