A decline in the sales of existing homes

In February 2017, the number of home resales around the country dropped more than expected. According to the National Association of Realtors, there was a 3.7 percent decline in existing home sales, resulting in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million homes. The lower number is a result of a market that has a shortage of homes that is elevating prices and discouraging potential purchasers in Illinois and the rest of the United States.

In January 2017, 5.69 million units were sold, the highest level since February 2007. A poll of economists that was administered by Reuters had predicted that for the next month, sales would decrease by 2 percent to 5.57 million units.

Compared to the rate for February 2016, sales increased by 5.4 percent, emphasizing how the housing market recovery will continue to be sustained regardless of the increase in mortgage rates. A labor market that is experiencing almost full employment is boosting the demand for housing. However, because of the increasing prices caused by the shortages of properties for sale, the number of home sales is not what it could be.

Even though the quantity of homes jumped 4.2 percent to 1.75 million units in February 2017, housing inventory is still close to the historic low of 1.65 million units of December 2016. Supply also had 6.4 percent decrease from one year ago. With the dwindling supply, the average home price increased 7.7 percent from a year ago to $228,400, making February 2017 the 60th consecutive month to experience year-over-year price increases.

An attorney who practices real estate law may provide a variety of services to prospective home buyers or residential real estate investors. Typical services may include handling real estate closings, resolving issues related to zoning laws, drafting real estate purchase agreements and resolving land title matters.

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