US existing home sales hit 10-year high in March

Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 21 Apr, 2017 15:34 | | |

US house USA United States of America housing

Sales of US existing home sales rose more than expected in March, to their highest pace in more than 10 years, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Sales were up 4.4% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.71m from a downwardly-revised 5.4m in February. March's sales pace is 5.9% above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007.

Economists had been expecting a rate of 5.63m.

Meanwhile, the median price for an existing home was $236,400, up 6.8% from March 2016’s $221,400 and marking the 61st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of March was up 5.8% to 1.83m existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.6% below a year ago and has fallen year-over-year for 22 straight months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist: "The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month. Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.

"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."

More news

12:40 Ebay shares fall after company lowers third quarter guidance

Online marketplace Ebay saw its shares fall overnight after despite posting second quarter earnings that were in-line with consensus estimates, as it warned that analysts' forecasts for the following quarter were slightly too high.

12:39 MasterCard wins UK class action fight, appeal may be on the cards

A class action lawsuit against Mastercard to claim for £14bn of collective damages in the UK has been rejected by a Competition Appeal Tribunal, though an appeal is being mulled.

12:32 Friday broker round-up

Paddy Power: Investec downgrades to Sell with a target price of 6970p.

12:19 London midday: Stocks hug the flatline as investors mull borrowing figures

London stocks continued to crawl slothlike along the flatline by midday on Friday as investors sifted through some corporate news, digested the latest government borrowing figures and a stronger pound offset gains for miners from improving commodities prices.

11:39 US pre-open: Shares seen flat as investors eye more earnings; eBay under pressure

US futures pointed to a muted open on Wall Street on Friday ahead of earnings from the likes of General Electric and Honeywell.

10:44 Acacia Mining cash shrinks in first half, staff arrested in Tanzania

Acacia Mining has unsurprisingly shelved its dividend and may have to pause production one mine after seeing its cash balance shrink 45% in the five months since the Tanzanian government banned the company from exporting gold concentrate from two of its three mines in the country.

10:30 Bonds: ECB gives 'green light' to summer carry trades, BofA says

These were the movements in some of the most widely-followed 10-year sovereign bond yields: US: 2.25% (-2bp)UK: 1.21% (+1bp)Germany: 0.53% (-1bp)France: 0.78% (-3bp)Spain: 1.49% (-7bp)Italy: 2.11% (-8bp)Portugal: 3.01% (-6bp)Greece: 5.26% (+0bp)Japan: 0.08% (+0bp)

10:23 Government borrowing rises more than expected in June

Public sector net borrowing rose more than expected in June as inflation meant the government was forced to pay more interest on its debt, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

10:19 Wednesday broker round-up

Direct Line: Credit Suisse upgrades to Outperform with a target price of 410p.

10:09 UK property transactions fall again - HMRC

The number of homes being sold in the UK has shrunk for the third month in a row, according to official figures released on Friday.