Several reports out last week indicated that the recovery in the real estate market is continuing, and that buyers continue to be motivated by today's high home affordability and the fact that owning a home is now less expensive than renting in many areas.
In March, sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops increased 3.7 percent from February, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Given that existing-home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, is confident that real estate is clearly on a recovery path. Separately, NAR reported that its Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.1 percent. Because this data reflects contracts but not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months, it means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely.
In addition, the Commerce Department announced Monday that in March, sales of new single-family homes rose 11 percent, and that the median price of a new home rose nearly 3 percent from February.