Supply issues dominate spring buying season
A lack of housing supply in many markets is continuing to drive price increases according to new data from First American Financial.
The real estate services firm says that its index of ‘real house prices’ which takes into account the impact of interest rates and income, gained 0.7 per cent month-over-month in February. It was up 11 per cent year-over-year.
“The lack of homes listed for sale is causing unadjusted house price growth to remain strong. Additionally, increasing interest rates are reducing consumer purchasing power. The result is a substantial year-over-year increase in the real price of homes,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.
On an annual basis, the greatest price increases were in New York (15.9 per cent), Colorado and Wisconsin (14.9 per cent),
Alabama (14.3 per cent) and Vermont (14.1 per cent).
Mississippi was the only state with a year-over-year decrease, of 2.7 per cent.
Drive to highlight benefits of Black homeownership
The important role that Black homeownership plays in strengthening communities is being highlighted this week by real estate professionals.
Realist Week runs all week and has been running since the 1970s by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. This year there are events in over 30 cities in 21 states.
"NAREB has taken on the charge to encourage Black Americans to purchase homes as the first step toward building wealth. We have always aspired to be homeowners and live the American Dream. Now is the time for us to turn that aspiration into reality; for ourselves, our families and for our future generations," said Ron Cooper, NAREB president.
The association says that Black homeownership is around 42 per cent compared to non-Hispanic white homeownership of 72 per cent.
Strong start for New York sales
Home sales in New York started the year strongly with condo sales in three boroughs hitting new record highs in the first quarter.
The Real Estate Board of New York says that there was robust activity and average sales prices increased 12 per cent to $1.022 million.
For condos, there was a 19 per cent rise in average sales price to $1.949 million with all five boroughs gaining. Manhattan was up 27 per cent to $3.032 million while Brooklyn surged 39 per cent to $1.138 million. Queens was up by a relatively modest 6 per cent to $602,000.
“2017 is off to a strong start following the tempered fourth quarter of 2016,” said John Banks, REBNY President. “The report shows improving market momentum with continued demand for all home types throughout the boroughs.”