Florida residents may have heard that single-home sales were lower than expected for January 2017. According to the Commerce Department, there was a 3.7 percent increase to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 550,000 units. However, economists had forecast an increase of 6.3 percent to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 570,000 units. The data still points to a strengthening housing market despite higher interest rates and rising prices.
Heavy rain and flooding in California was cited as a reason why sales may have come in below expectations. The pace of new home sales varied by region as sales in the Northeast rose 15.8 percent in January while sales in the South were up 4.3 percent. Sales increased in the Midwest by 14.8 in January while sales in the West were down 4.4 percent. It is important to note that these figures are subject to revision in future months.
Despite the pullback in January, home sales are still increasing when viewed over a rolling three-month period. Home prices increased 6.2 percent, and sales of previously owned homes increased by 3.3 percent to reach a 10-year high. Overall, consumers are still feeling good about the health of the economy, and a consumer sentiment reading from the University of Michigan was consistent with a 2.7 percent increase in consumer spending in 2017.
Those who are about to buy a new home may wish to do so with the help of an attorney. He or she may help explain the real estate closing process, which may help a buyer complete a transaction with confidence. An attorney may also be helpful in the event that there are issues either during the closing process or after the sale has been finalized.