This Week in Real Estate: April 24, 2017


The National Association of Realtors reported This Week in Real Estate that March’s sales pace was the strongest month of sales since February 2007. In addition, the average time to close a loan in March decreased to 43 days, marking the shortest time period since February 2015. Below are a few highlights from the third week of April that influence our business:

* Existing Home Sales Soar to Highest Pace in More Than a Decade. Existing home sales soared in March to the highest pace in more than 10 years as homes sold significantly faster than last month and last year, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. Total existing home sales, completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.71 million in March, according to NAR’s report. March’s sales pace is 5.9% above last year’s pace, marking the strongest month of sales since February 2007. “Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Last month’s swift price gains and the remarkably short time a home was on the market are directly the result of the homebuilding industry’s struggle to meet the dire need for more new homes.”
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* Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rate Falls Below 4% Mark. Mortgage rates dropped below the 4% marks, hitting the lowest point since November last year. “The 30-year mortgage rate fell 11 basis points this week to 3.97%, dropping below the psychologically-important 4% level for the first time since November,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “Weak economic data and growing international tensions are driving investors out of riskier sectors and into Treasury securities,” Becketti said. “This shift in investment sentiment has propelled rates lower.”
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* Ellie Mae: Average Closing Time Now Sits at Lowest Level in Two Years. The average time to close a loan in 2016 fluctuated around the high 40s, but this is no longer the case, according to the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. The average time to close all loans decreased to 43 days in March, down from 46 days in February, the shortest time to close since February of 2015. Similarly, the time to close a refinance dropped to 43 days from 47 days the month prior, and time to close a purchase dropped to 43 days, down from 45 days in February.
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Have a productive week!

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