February March Sales Continue Recent Strength
Despite the report by National Association of REALTORS that their annualized rate of home sales seemed to shrink in February our own Housing Market report shows the opposite and reports from brokerage firms across the spectrum of brands, models and regions says the same thing. February and now March sales are up from prior months and up strongly from a year ago.
As seen by the links there are dangers lurking. The appraisal rules are a mess and hinder the first time home buyer in favor of the cash investor. With appraisers getting hammered by the banks and mainly by the regulators, unless and until valuations are allowed to react to market level demand for entry level homes, the cash buyer reigns supreme.
Rising gas prices, economic uncertainty and tough underwriting qualifications are other serious challenges to a more robust housing recovery. While KB Homes says cancellations are rising, the real problem faced by residential brokerage firms is a lack of inventory in the entry level segment of the market.