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Is 'Rate Lock' Beginning To Ease?

The inventory of homes for sale has been lower than normal for years now. There are a number of reasons for this. One factor keeping inventory low is the number of homeowners who refinanced their loan when mortgage rates were at historic lows and, having locked in a low rate, are reluctant to move. But according to newly released numbers, there may be evidence that the “rate lock” that made potential sellers hesitant to list their homes has begun to ease. How so? Well, new listings of existing homes rose 21 percent in February compared to year-before levels and were up 20 percent from the month before. The improvement is a sign sellers are more active heading into this spring's sales season. The gains have been significant and widespread. In fact, inventory was up in each of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, with the strongest increases seen in Texas and Florida. Overall, the inventory of homes for sale is now up 12 percent nationally compared to last year. This is encouraging news and evidence that homeowners may be increasingly willing to make a move.



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