While housing starts fell 17 percent in February, as the National Association of Home Builders informs MHProNews, newly built, single-family home sales rose 7.8 percent for the same month to a seasonally annual adjusted rate of 539,000 units. Utilizing data from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban (HUD) and the Census Bureau, this marks the highest sales pace in seven years.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says, “Most sales activity continues to be among existing home owners who are trading up to new construction and taking advantage of low mortgage rates. First-time home buyers remain absent from the market, restricted by tight lending conditions.”
Meanwhile, Forbes reports the National Association of Realtors (NAR) states sales of previously-owned homes rose 1.2 percent in February, a sales pace 4.7 percent above Feb 2014. Tight inventory has pushed the median existing-home price to $202,600 for last month, a 7.5 percent increase over the same month last year. February also marked the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.
Historically, first-time homebuyers comprise one-third of home sales, but were only 29 percent of the buyer pool in Feb. As MHPronews pointed out recently, a study by the NAR indicates slow income growth is hampering renters from becoming home buyers. ##
(Photo credit: knoxnews–Sale Pending)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.