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U.S. Home Values Up In March

Home prices surged more than 7% throughout 50 states in the month of March, according to CoreLogic. In some states, home values have surpassed pre-recession values during the housing boom, although inflation is not accounted for within the calculation.

Sarasota County year-over-year in March (single family resale homes) median values increased just over 9% to $287,000, while Manatee County decreased just under 2.0% to $285,000. I attribute the decline in Manatee County, mostly to the competitive higher sales volume on new construction, especially in the Lakewood Ranch area.

Although current home seller's are competing with new home construction, the resale inventory levels are fairly flat with a four month inventory supply. ( A "four month" supply means if no other homes became available today, at the current pace of sales, it would take four months to sell out all inventory).

I believe summer home values and sales will stay somewhat stagnant and will pick up later in the fall. The Federal Reserves's are most likely going to be raising interest rates a minimum of 2-3 times by year- end. Mortgage rates have increased just over 0.50% since the election. In today's meeting the Federal Open Market Committee stated that they will leave rates alone for now and also stated that inflation is starting to creep up a bit. Why do the Feds believe a feel a 2% inflation rate is "healthy level." I have no idea! The good news is the economy is showing good signs of economic growth and recent earnings reports from our publicly traded companies have been mostly positive.

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