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Existing-home sales spike in March in the U.S.

May 2015

Existing-home sales jumped in March in the U.S. to their highest annual rate in 18 months, while unsold inventory showed needed improvement, according to the National Association of Realtors. Led by the Midwest, all major regions experienced strong sales gains in March and are above their year-over-year sales pace.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million). Sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4 percent above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7 percent). March’s sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2 percent).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market appears to be off to an encouraging start this spring. “After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country in March,” he said. “The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizeable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years.”