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An increase in home sales

Florida residents who are considering buying a house may be interested to know that factors such as the possibility of higher interest rates in 2017 and the warmest weather in decades contributed to the increase in home sales in February. According to the National Association of Realtors, the monthly index of signed sales contracts for existing home increased 5.5 percent for February, a 2.6 percent jump from the February 2016 figure.

There has been a severe shortage of homes for sale around the country. At the beginning of 2017, the housing inventory was down compared to one year ago. This has been speeding up home price gains for several months.

According to the chief economist at the NAR, the seasonal spike in home listings was enough to bring buyers back to the market and to contribute to an increase in signed contracts. The continuation of the stock market's rise, the steady hiring in a majority of markets and the expected interest rates increase later in the year have encouraged the interest of buyers. However, the gains achieved in February may be difficult to maintain as demand is outpacing new supply. Buyers are purchasing homes at a faster rate today than they have in almost 20 years.

In the Northeast, pending homes sales increased by 3.4 percent and rose 11.4 percent in the Midwest. In the South, sales were 4.3 percent higher. In the West where prices are increasing the most, sales were up 3.1 percent.

An attorney who practices real estate law may provide a variety of helpful services to individuals purchasing or selling a home. The attorney may review real estate agreements, negotiate contract terms, and resolve zoning law disputes and title issues.

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