Existing home sales at highest pace in 10 years

by Steve Randall24 Apr 2017
Existing home sales at highest pace in 10 years

The pace of existing home sales in March was the highest in more than 10 years, the National Association of Realtors says.

Home`HomHomes were selling fast amid tight supply and total existing homes sales reached a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million, up 4.4 per cent from February, which was revised down to 5.47 million. March’s figure shows a 5.9 per cent increase year-over-year.

March became the strongest month of existing home sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

"Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The Northeast and Midwest saw the strongest gains in sales while the West was the only region to see a decline.
The median price for an existing home sold in March was up 6.8 per cent year-over-year to $236,400 while inventory is at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace.

Mortgage delinquencies hit 11-year low

The level of mortgage delinquencies has fallen to its lowest since March 2006, according to new data from Black Knight Financial.

The mortgage data firm’s First Look report for March 2017 shows that delinquencies were down 14 per cent from February while the level of loans more than 30 days late or in active foreclosure was below 2.3 million, the lowest for 11 years.

Prepayment speeds were up 20 per cent from February, which had hit a 3-year low, and remain 26 per cent below the level of a year ago.

Politics, people biggest risks for construction sector

A global survey of executives in the construction sector show that geopolitical risks and workforce management issues are the two biggest factors facing the industry.

Advisory and broking company Willis Towers Watson’s survey found that the c-suite cite uncertainty of government support and financing, postponement and delays, changes in strategy, and commitment to project pipelines, as the main geopolitical risk factors.

Meanwhile, requirement for digital skills, global employment networks under differing employment laws, and the challenge of attracting new talent, were all factors in the workforce management risk.

“The industry is vulnerable not just to the loss of data but also during the design stage, where the increase in the use of technology could lead to catastrophic results,” said Becker. “As technological uses grow, cyberthreat awareness and training should form part of any cybersecurity strategy, focusing on helping employees identify, report and mitigate an attack effectively.”

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