Existing-home prices have increased for 13 consecutive months according to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Existing-home sales, which include recently purchased single family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops are currently on pace to reach 4.92 million annual units, up 10.3 percent compared to March 2012.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun sees demand outstripping supply. "Buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity," he said. "In the same timeframe housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices. The good news is home construction is rising and low mortgage rates are continuing to keep affordability conditions at historically favorable levels. The bad news is that underwriting standards remain excessively tight, while renters are getting squeezed by higher rents."