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January nationwide existing-home sales for 2017 are off to a fast start.

  • National Association of Realtors (NAR) report existing-home sales for January went up 3.3 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.69 million.
  • January sales followed December 2016 upward trend of 5.51 SAAR.
  • The January 2017 sales data is 3.8 percentage points above January 2015 and is the fastest SAAR sales pace in nearly a decade.
  • Strong sales were in the Northeast, South and West. Whereas the Midwest experienced a small decline.

Will the fast start be an indication of a strong market for all of 2017? Data on inventory indicates it may be, but may take a few more months of upward supply in inventory to create enough buyers to take action.

  • Housing inventory moved up 2.4 percentage points to 1.69 million homes for sale following a rock bottom month of inventory in December of 2016.
  • Inventory is still 7.1 percentage points below January 2016 and at a 3.6 month supply.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “Much of the county saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of the year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home.”

“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,” Yun said.

National sales trends are just that, very national. Real estate markets have always been very local and can be contrary to national trends. For the latest market trends from a local perspective contact your local expert!