Property sales in the USA in the first quarter of 2017 were the strongest seen for a decade, since before the global financial crisis of 2008.
Property prices have also now increased for the third quarter in a row, with year-on-year property prices up by 6.9 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that national median property prices reached $232,100 in March of this year.
Property sales price increases were seen in 85 per cent of the metropolitan statistical areas measured. Only 14 per cent of areas covered showed reduced prices from the same time in 2016.
17 per cent of metro areas showed property sales price gains in double figures, mirroring the fourth quarter of 2016.
Existing home sales in total increased by 1.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in the first quarter, the highest figure recorded since the first quarter of 2007, and 5 per cent higher than the 5.36 million seen during the first quarter of 2016.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, commented: ‘Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter.’
He confirmed that a shortage of available property to purchase was helping to fuel property sales price increases.
He said: ‘Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others, especially for those in the starter home market, which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.’
All main areas of the USA saw median property price gains year-on-year, when compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Median property price gains were led by the South with prices up 8.8 per cent from a year ago. The West followed closely behind, recording a rise of 8.4 per cent from the first quarter of 2016.
Prices in the Northeast and Midwest actually fell by 2.2 and 4.3 per cent respectively from the last quarter of 2016. However, prices in both areas were still up yuear-on-year from the first quarter of 2016, by 2.2 and 5.75 per cent.