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Buyers have to act fact in this tough housing market

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 45.5%. 1 min read.

MIRAMAR, FLORIDA - JANUARY 26: An aerial view from a drone shows homes in a neighborhood on January 26, 2021 in Miramar, Florida. According to two separate indices existing home prices rose to the highest level in 6 years. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Buyers looking for a home right now need to be ready to pounce. Inventory of homes is so low that, in January, homes sold in half the time they did a year ago.

Inventory of homes is so low that, in January, homes sold in half the time they did a year ago.

Most homes, 71%, that sold in January were on the market for less than a month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales -- completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- continued to increase and were up 24% from one year ago, to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6. 69 million.

"Home sales continue to ascend in the first month of the year, as buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming on the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

The median sales price of existing homes rose to $303,900, 14% higher than one year ago when it was $266,300.

Prices were up in all regions of the country and January's national price increase marks 107 straight months of year-over-year gains.

"Home sales are continuing to play a part in propping up the economy," Yun said.

He predicts existing home sales will be strong in 2021, even as he says mortgage rates are likely to inch higher.

While home sales were very strong in all parts of the country, with growth up over 20% in all regions year over year, there was some month-to-month softening in the Northeast and the West, where prices are highest and increasing the most.

January's strong sales report is no surprise given high demand and low mortgage rates, said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

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