Spring Comes Early to the Housing Market
Spring officially arrives today, but the U.S. real estate market already kicked into high gear a few weeks ago, fueled by a thriving economy and urgency over rising mortgage rates.
A recent analysis by Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke examines the pace of the national housing market in February. Homes sold in a median 90 days last month, six days faster than they did one year ago. Twenty-seven percent of homes sold in less than 30 days, a trend that didn’t appear until late March last year.
Homebuyers have been buoyed by job growth, which is 30 percent stronger than in the first quarter of 2016. The national unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in February, and wage growth is nearing an eight-year high.
Rising mortgage rates may also be motivating some homebuyers to lock in financing before rates move even higher. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week and is expected to do so twice more in 2017.