NAR Calls for Further FHA Insurance Premium Reductions

Amid improving but still somewhat lackluster existing-home sales numbers for March, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) called for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make more changes to its programs in order to help more first-time buyers enter the market.

Though existing-home sales increased over-the-month by 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.33 million in March, nearly erasing February’s disappointment, the same problems that have plagued the housing market in the last six months to a year are persisting—affordability and tight inventory, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing-Home Sales Report for March 2016 released Tuesday.

“Closings came back in force last month as a greater number of buyers—mostly in the Northeast and Midwest—overcame depressed inventory levels and steady price growth to close on a home,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures.”