Despite Weak Pockets, Spring Sales Start Strong

Despite Weak Pockets, Spring Sales Start Strong:

Economists and homeowners are watching for signs of a slowdown, following a multiyear boom.

This was in the WSJ earlier this week, but just posted on the free Realestatejounal.

After a multiyear real-estate boom that has raised concerns about a housing bubble in a number of markets, economists and homeowners are closely watching this year’s spring selling season for any signs of a slowdown.

So far, there aren’t many of them.

Spring tends to be the hottest selling season, with families looking to move well before the start of the next school year. And sales are getting off to a strong start in many parts of the country.

In a revised forecast, the National Association of Realtors now says it expects sales of existing single-family homes to fall 2.4% to 6.62 million for the full year, which still would be the second-highest level on record. That is better than the 5% slide the Realtors group predicted at the start of the year.

One reason: The much-anticipated increase in long-term mortgage rates has yet to materialize. Weak economic news has helped push rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages below 6%, from a recent high of 6.17%, according to HSH Associates, providing a nudge to buyers fearful that rates will shoot up again.

The recent boom in the Central Virginia region is simple – there is stronger demand for homes than there is a supply. There is a large amount of new construction that is feeding much of this supply. The unfortunate aspect of the situation is that there are very few, if any new homes being built in the sub $250k range. These homes are under contract in mere hours sometimes. It pays to have a Realtor.

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