US housing decline

Properties Staying On The Market For 36 Days On Average

In March, housing market sales ran at an adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million according to the National Association of Realtors. This missed the Econoday consensus rate of 5.3 million and it was lower by 4.9% compared to February. 

Market Headwinds Attributed to the Drop

The housing market sales of previously owned homes declined sharply in the month of March compared to what was expected. This was a result of the housing market headwinds.

In February the sector experienced a surge which is the strongest that the industry has had in over four years. The National Association of Realtors lobby group has attributed the decline in March to the return to normalcy following the surge. However, housing market sales were still lower by 5.4% compared to last year.

In March, the median price for homes sold was $259,400 which was a 3.8% increase from last year. Based on the current pace of house sales, it will take around 3.9 months to completely exhaust the available units which are below the 6 months long-term average. Although, in March properties stayed on the market for around 36 days. This is down from the 44 days reported in February. This was, however, longer than last year’s 30 days average.

New Buyers Accounted for 33% of Purchases

The National Association of Realtors reported that first-time buyers accounted for 33% of all purchases in the month of March. Research by NAR indicated that the first time buyers’ market share has relatively remained the same for the last two decades.

Although activity was mixed regionally, all regions experienced a drop in housing market sales.  For instance, in the Northeast, there was a 2.9% sales drop while in the south, there was a 3.4% decline. The West has suffered for quite some time because of tax law changes and saw a drop of 6%. The Midwest has experienced the largest decline at 7.9%.

Over the past few months the housing market has suffered from the decline in mortgage rates.

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