Home price appreciation remains strong in metros
Strengthening home sales amid tight inventory fuelled price appreciation in US metros according to a quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.
There was a rise in the median single-family home prices in 87 per cent of the 178 metros surveyed by NAR while 13 per cent declined year-over-year. In the fourth quarter of 2015, 81 per cent of markets saw gains, although the proportion of metros with double-digit gains was slightly higher compared to the first three months of 2016.
A stronger labor market and low mortgage rates helped boost the sales activity across the US although supply is the most prominent barrier to higher sales and advancing home prices faster than wages in most areas.
"In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million)," adds Yun. "The demand for buying is there, but unless the stock of new and existing-homes for sale increases significantly – especially in several markets in the West – the housing market will struggle to reach its full potential."
Sellers think it’s time to sell, buyers not so sure
Sentiment among homebuyers increased in April but there was little change in the overall housing market sentiment.
Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index recovered from an 18-month low in March, with a 3.5-point rise to 83.7 in April with the ‘good time to sell’ component hitting a record high with a net 15 per cent of sellers. Among buyers though, the ‘good time to buy’ component hit an all-time low with a net 30 per cent of buyers.
More consumers think home prices will go up over the next 12 months compared to March, and slightly fewer consumers expect Mortgage Rates to go up over the next 12 months.
This market reported another record high in April
Realtors in Massachusetts reported another record-breaking month in April with pending home sales up 30 per cent compared to a year earlier.
There were 7,139 pending sales of single-family homes in the month with the median price up 7.9 per cent to $350,688. Pending sales of condos rose 13.6 per cent to 2,782; and the median price was up 8.1 per cent to $329,628.
“The ‘spring’ home buying season, that started in January, continued its momentum into the actual season as April hit another record month for pending sales,” said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate on Cape Cod.