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The Week Ahead: Will Existing-Home Sales Rebound in March?

pending home sales

The National Association of Realtors will release it latest Existing Home Sales report for April on Tuesday.

Total existing-home sales including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops fell 4.9% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March. Sales as a whole were down 5.4% year over year.

“It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the jobs markets. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”

Despite the decline in sales, inventory jumped slightly in March month-over-month, up to 1.68 million from February’s 1.63 million existing homes available for sale, a 2.4% increase year-over-year.

“Further increases in inventory are highly desirable to keep home prices in check,” Yun said. “The sustained steady gains in home sales can occur when home price appreciation grows at roughly the same pace as wage growth.”

According to realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, this year’s momentum shows promise.

"January pending home sales led to strong February existing home sales but that momentum slipped in March with sales down 4.9% from revised February figures and down 5.1% from last March. Prices showed continued gains, but lost some ground registering up 3.8% from a year ago compared with 3.9% last month,” Hale said. “Even if home sales lose some momentum month to month, they will likely be able to better keep pace with last year's sales in the months ahead as a result of increased buyer purchasing power from lower mortgage rates. In fact, the year over year sales decline abated from 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter to 5.4 percent in the first quarter."

Here’s what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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