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Existing-home sales up; low inventory and affordability still risky

'Home prices ascending near or above double-digit appreciation aren’t healthy,' says NAR's chief economist
Published on Feb 23, 2016
  • NAR reported that 5.47 million homes (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) were sold in January 2015.
  • Although mortgage rates are stabilizing, affordability and inventory are still serious problems.

The National Association of Realtors released its existing-home sales numbers this morning, showing a modest growth in home sale numbers -- exactly what First American chief economist Mark Fleming said he was expecting to see.NAR reported that 5.47 million homes (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) were sold in January 2015. In First American's potential home sales model this month, it was forecasting approximately 5.7 million home sales (seasonally adjusted), or a little short of that."The market is aligning with its potential,” said Fleming.“With the initial delay in closings triggered by Know-Before-You-Owe seemingly behind us, and global economic uncertainty driving down mortgage rates, 2016 remains a year to be bullish on housing. First-time homebuyers will be able to benefit from strong purchasing power in a low-rate environment," he said.Declining mortgage rates Any late 2015 worries about rising interest rates have subsided, said Fleming. "The Fed...

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