May real estate market report

Fueled partly by an increase in sales to first-time buyers, existing-home sales increased in May to their highest pace in nearly six years. "The return of first-time buyers in May is an encouraging sign and is the result of multiple factors, including strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs," said National Association of
REALTORS® Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun. "More first-time buyers are expected to enter the market in coming months, but the overall share climbing higher will depend on how fast rates and prices rise."

The Capital Region housing market momentum continued in May as the spring home-buying season marked higher year-over-year pending and closed sales. Both Pending Sales and Closed Sales increased over 5% from May 2014.

Inventory levels market-wide were down almost 12%, but there is still plenty of time left in the selling season. The Median Sales Price increased more than 8% to $200,000.  Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® President, Cathy Griffin, said that’s to be expected, “Price increases have been expected for some time, as inventory has been low and demand has been high.” said Griffin.

A weaker-than-expected U.S. economy has resulted in the Federal Reserve to continue low short-term interest rates during the summer. New projections indicate that rates will remain the same until September at the earliest. This is a positive movement in getting more homebuyers interested in the market. Sellers are receiving nearly 94% of Original List Price. GCAR CEO, Laura Burns noted, “The fact that mortgage rates are projected to remain at historical lows is a great motivator for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can take advantage of these great rates, while sellers can enjoy receiving good offers worth meaningful consideration.”


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