Existing home sales spiked to fastest seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The housing market is off to a prosperous start this year as existing home sales spiked to the fastest seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in nearly a decade. NAR’s existing-home sales spiked 3.3 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.69 million — up from an upwardly revised 5.51 million in December.
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.
“Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions.”
Buying patterns across the country
The first month of 2017 sets up a prosperous year and shows the resilience of buyers. We who are fortunate enough to live on the West Coast in beautiful Santa Barbara experienced strong growth; joined by the Northeast and South. In the West, existing-home sales rose by 6.6% to an annual rate of 1.29 million. The Midwest took a small hit, with distressed sales remaining at 7%; a number lower than a year ago. In the Northeast, existing-home sales jumped 5.3% to an annual rate of 800,000; up 6.7% from a year ago. Existing home sales in the South rose 3.6%, to an annual rate of 2.31 million.
Homeowners will be happy because the median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.1% points in January, to $228,900, marking the 59th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Overall housing inventory experienced a much-needed boost, with 1.69 million homes for sale. The 2.04% jump, was much needed considering the rock bottom levels seen in December 2016. However, before you do cartwheels, it’s important to note that inventory is still 7.1% below where it was in January 2016; representing the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
Want more details? Check out this article in Inman. Want details on what’s available in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities? Check out my website, then call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. You deserve to be part of the housing market’s prosperous start in 2017.