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The Week Ahead: Looking to Continue Prosperous Home Sales

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release their data on existing home sales for February 2017. NAR’s previous data for January showed an increase of 3.3 percent month-over-month, and 3.8 percent year-over year, starting the year off strong.

"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," said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. "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."

"Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range," added Yun. "NAR and Realtor.com's new ongoing research — the Realtors Affordability Distribution Curve and Score — revealed that the combination of higher rates and prices led to households in over half of all states last month being able to afford less of all active inventory on the market based on their income."

The target price point for February was $231,638, 1.2 percent higher than January and 9.9 percent higher than last year.

Though markets are looking strong, another source may drag the market down in the coming months, according to NAR President William E. Brown.

"Supply and demand imbalances continue to be burdensome in many markets, and now Fannie Mae is supporting a Wall Street firm's investment in single-family rentals," said Brown. "This will only further hamper tight supply and put major investors in direct competition with traditional buyers. Instead, the GSEs should lower overly burdensome fees and help qualified borrowers become homeowners."

The housing market is looking to continue that prosperity this month, as this week’s numbers will hopefully show.

This Week’s Schedule

MBA Mortgage Applications Wednesday 7 a.m. EST

Janet Yellen speaks at Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington, Thursday 8 a.m. EST

Neel Kashkari gives afternoon remarks at Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington, Thursday 12 p.m. EST

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday

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