Citi: Builders report spike in home sales from February to March

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In a recent survey by Citi, 70 percent of home builders nationwide reported increased new-home sales in March, a 15 percent increase from February’s survey.

April 18, 2012
Citi, survey, home builders, March 2012, home sales spike, month to month

Citi, survey, home builders, March 2012, home sales spike, month to month

In a recent survey by Citi, 70 percent of home builders nationwide reported increased new-home sales in March, a 15 percent increase from February’s survey. Citi analysts are calling it the largest month-to-month spike since the survey’s inception in 2010, according to a Business Insider story.

At the same time, just 5 percent of builders reported decreased sales in March; 15 percent reported declines the month before. For the remaining 25 percent, sales stayed virtually the same from month-to-month. Citi reports that an 18 percent jump in new-home sales is typical from February to March.

While many builders said they expect sales to continue rising, there are still several factors that concern them. One of the biggest is land position; almost 20 percent of those surveyed said that good lots are getting both more expensive and harder to come by. Other possible detractors include fuel prices, mortgage underwriting practices and the amount of time it takes for loans to process.

While the qualitative nature of the survey makes it difficult to offer solid numerical evidence of a turnaround, Citi is encouraged by the stories builders shared. One builder in Alabama said that while they’d had several contracts cancelled because of the buyer’s inability to secure a loan, they were seeing improvements in appraisals as well as the sale of foreclosed lots.

Another builder in Colorado called it their first quarter in six years, highlighted by a significant upswing in move-up housing.

To read the rest of the Business Insider story, click here.

 

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