April 18th, 2014
The housing market is continuing to show significant gains as sales rose in March.
According to a recent report from RE/MAX, home sales increased 24.6 percent in March compared to February, marking the first time there have been monthly gains in 2014.
"Clearly, unexpected winter storms resulted in a slow start for housing this year, but the strong rebound in March sales could build momentum for spring and summer," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. "Many potential homebuyers who weren't able to get out and tour homes in January and February may still enter the market and impact sales in the next few months."
The RE/MAX report also revealed that home prices rose in March. According to the data, the median price rose 8.8 percent in March compared to the year before. The report suggested that low levels of inventory are likely to blame for the price increases.
However, in general, the latest data shows that the housing market is continuing to show gains at the start of the spring homebuying season. Those interested in purchasing a property are reminded to find help when shopping for home insurance. Tools are available today that make comparing rates and pricing easy. As conditions are getting riper for a home purchase, now is a good time start assessing options.
Mortgage rates fall to six-week low
Aside from increasing home sales, other conditions are making a home purchase attractive for buyers. Mortgage rates fell in the week ending April 17, marking a six week low, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac.
The report revealed that a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.27 percent during the week, down from 4.34 percent compared to the week before and up from 3.41 percent a year ago. In addition, it showed that a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33 percent, down from 3.38 percent a week ago and up from 2.64 percent a year ago.
"Mortgage rates continued to ease this week as housing starts rose 2.8 percent in March but not as much as expected," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Also, permits fell 2.4 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000, which followed a slight downward revision of 4,000 permits in February."
Those planning on making a home purchase this spring season should be encouraged by the overall conditions of the market.