In baseball, going three-for-three at the plate represents a good days work.
In the real estate market, going three-for-three on housing completions, housing permits, and mortgage applications in March is more like winning the World Series.
That's exactly what happened last month, as three major three real estate industry indicators were up, and substantially so.
"New home completions ticked upward 3.2% from 1,216,000 in February to 1,260,000 in March as the unusually warm winter helped builders advance their completion schedules," notes Joseph Kirchner, Ph.D., and senior economist at Realtor.com. "Since this one-time event reduced the number of construction projects in the pipeline, we hope this will translate into more starts in the coming months."
Kirchner also notes that housing construction permits climbed by 3.6% from February to March, a significant change and confirmation of an upward trend - 17% since March of 2016.
"That's good news for buyers hoping to find a variety of homes to choose from in their price range," he adds. "This trend will eventually affect starts and new home completions, though we will continue to see a shortage of homes on the market."
Then there's the all-important mortgage application benchmark, a key and real-time indicator of the U.S. real estate market's health. In March, the figure was fit as a fiddle, as new home purchase applications rose by 6.7% on a year-to-year basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for March 2017.
The MBA data states that mortgage applications for new home purchases not only rose 6.7% compared to March 2016, "compared to February 2017, applications increased by 23% relative to the previous month."
That growth represents a five-year high.
"Mortgage applications for new homes accelerated in March, with the Builder Application Survey Index reaching its highest point since the series began in August 2012," states Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics.
Creativity by industry companies is a big reason for the rise in. seasonal mortgage apps, Fisher notes.
"The pick up from a fairly modest February showing suggests that developers are finding ways to bring new product on line to help supplement otherwise low inventories of existing homes for sale in the U.S.," Fisher says. "About two-thirds of applications for new homes in our survey have loan sizes between $200,000 and $400,000," she adds.