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A New Season for Housing - Will First-Time Buyers Face Challenges?

<a href="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/gary_umholtz.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-thumbnail wp-image-884" alt="Gary Umholtz" src="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/gary_umholtz-150x150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a>Spring is officially here. The warmer season will hopefully bring a much-needed warm-up to the housing market, which suffered from the harsh winter weather.

Weather, tight credit, and higher home prices were the cause for stagnant housing in recent months, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). February Existing Home Sales fell by 0.4 percent from January to 4.60 million units on an annualized basis. While this figure was in line with estimates, it was still 7.1 percent less than the number of Existing Home Sales registered one year ago.

Weather was also blamed for lower-than-expected Housing Starts in February, reported at 907,000. Housing Starts have been declining since November's annual rate of 1.101 million—the highest since 2008. However, Building Permits, a sign of future construction, increased by 7.5 percent in February to 1.018 million, well above expectations.

Better readings are anticipated in future housing reports, as the weather becomes milder around the nation.

<b>Housing Out of Reach for First-timers?</b><b></b>


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