Existing Home Sales rose in March, as expected. U.S. home buyers closed on 7 percent more homes as compared to February.
Furthermore, versus March 2009 — a month many people equate to the low point of the U.S. economy — sales volume was up 16 percent.
“Existing home sale” is the technical term for a home resale; a home previously inhabited by a person. It’s the opposite of a “new home sale” which is a sale of a newly-constructed home.
Existing Homes Data is tracked by the National Association of Realtors® and a closer look at the March data reveals some other interesting notes:
- Year-over-year sales are higher for the 9th straight month
- Real estate investors represented 19 percent of all homes purchased
- First-time home buyers account for 44 percent of all buyers
Also worth noting is that the supply of available homes is down on a broader basis. At the current rate of sales, the existing home inventory will be exhausted in 8 months.
Despite banks releasing foreclosures and REO into the market, that’s still one half-month less from February.
When supplies drops, home prices tend to rise. It suggests an underlying strength in housing that should support home prices through the next few months — especially as the home buyer tax credit finishes working its way through the system.
That said, real estate markets are local. You shouldn’t assume that what’s happening on the national level is also happening here at home. Be sure to check with your real estate agent about local market conditions before making a decision to buy or sell.