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Shopping for a home? It will take a lot longer than you think
Source: CNBC

Homes today are selling in about 40 days on average, almost two weeks faster than a year ago. But it is taking a lot longer for shoppers to find a home to buy.

Two-thirds of buyers are shopping for more than three months before signing a deal, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Why so long? They can't find a home they can afford.

Forty-two percent of buyers surveyed said prices were out of reach for the homes they wanted. Home prices have been rising at a fast clip in the past year – faster than income growth and inflation. The primary reason is a lack of homes for sale, especially lower-priced homes.

About a third of those surveyed said they couldn't find a home with features they wanted or in a neighborhood they wanted. Back to prices though, 27 percent said they kept getting outbid on their offers. Bidding wars are now the rule, not the exception, in most major U.S. markets.

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Nearly two-thirds of U.S. housing markets see home prices hit all-time high
Source: Housing Wire 

As housing inventory sank to its all-time low during the fourth quarter, home prices increased, creating all-new highs in many U.S. markets, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

The national median existing single-family home price in the fourth quarter came in at $247,800, up 5.3 percent from $235,400 in the fourth quarter of 2016. During the third quarter, home prices increased 5.6 percent from the third quarter of 2016.

Single-family home prices increased in 92 percent of measured markets, or 162 out of 177 metropolitan statistical areas. In fact, 15 percent of metro areas saw double digit increases, and now 64 percent of markets reached a new all-time high in home prices. This is up by 18 metros from last quarter.

Total existing home sales, including single family and condos, increased 4.3 percent during the fourth quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million, up from 5.39 million in the third quarter. This is also up 1.3 percent from the 5.55 million pace in the fourth quarter of 2016.

But due to these higher levels of home sales, existing homes for sale shrank 10.3 percent from the 1.65 million homes at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 to an average supply of just 3.5 months. This represents a new low in housing inventory and is down from 4.2 months of supply in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

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