According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rose in March, continuing an uneven recovery that began after home sales bottomed out last July.
Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes, and co-ops increased a little over 3% in March compared to February, but are around 6% below the pace in March 2010. Sales last year were at elevated levels due to the home buyer tax credit.
NAR Chief economist, Lawrence Yun, expects the improving home sales pattern to continue. In six of the last eight months, existing-home sales have risen. Mr. Yun stated we are clearly on a recovery path. “With rising jobs and excellent affordability conditions, we project moderate improvements into 2012, but not every month will show a gain – primarily because some buyers are finding it too difficult to obtain a mortgage. For those fortunate enough to qualify for financing, monthly mortgage payments as a percent of income have been at record lows.”
Read more of his interview address here:
NAR’s housing affordability index shows that the typical monthly mortgage principal and interest payment for the purchase of a median-priced existing home is around 13% of gross household income, the lowest since records began in 1970.
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