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Existing Home Sales Hit Ten-Year High in March with 4.4% Increase


We expect existing home sales to trend higher over the course of 2017 despite modestly higher mortgage rates in response to solid job gains, faster income growth, and a pickup in household formations.

The report said existing home sales jumped 4.4% to an annual rate of 5.71 million in March after slumping by 3.9% to a downwardly revised 5.47 million February. March's sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

The consensus estimate called for sales to reach 5.605 million, according to a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg.

North Korea vows to continue testing missiles despite U.S. warning
Trump campaigned on an "America first" platform, and has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations such as China and Japan. US officials have long speculated that North Korea could soon stage another nuclear test or carry on with missile tests.

With supply still tight, the median house price rose 6.8 percent from one year ago to $236,400 in March, the 61st consecutive month of year-on-year price increases.

Buyers closed on purchases of 12,245 homes, at an average price of $163,382 - up 6.2 percent from the same month of past year. 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 may be soaring, but inventory isn't".

"Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year".

President Obama to hold first public event of his post-presidency
This will be only the second time Obama has returned to Chicago since leaving office January 20. The Obama family also has a home in the nearby Kenwood neighborhood.

Economists have been predicting a "spring revival" since the beginning of the year thanks to hearty buyers who refuse to let low inventory keep them from finding the ideal home. Properties stayed on the market for only 34 days. In February the national median price was also $228,400. Wealthier investors, who were willing to pay in cash, made up an above-average share of the market and held a competitive advantage over first-time buyers, the NAR said. Sales for the first three months of the year were 5% higher than in 2016. Sales of multifamily homes increased 5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units.

Median price: $260,800, a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase.

In the Midwest, home sales were up 3.1 percent from a year before.

Man wanted for Facebook-related murder kill self after Pa. chase
State police say Steve Stephens was spotted Tuesday morning by state police in Erie County, in the state's northwest corner. In a third video 11 minutes later, streamed live from Stephens's vehicle , he said he meant to kill others.

Existing-home sales in the West dropped 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.22 million in March, but they remain 5.2% higher than March 2016 totals.

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