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Dropping Inventory and Higher Home Prices

The RE/MAX National Housing Report surveys 53 metro areas. February saw a decline of -0.02 percent, a slight decline from February 2017, which reported the most sales in the nine-year history of the report. Number of homes for sale was 2.2 percent from January 2017. Active inventory reached a record low dropping 17.9 percent year-over-year, the 100th consecutive month of year-over-year declines since October 2008. According to RE/MAX, areas with the lowest inventory continues to be   in the western U.S., as the metros with the lowers inventory include Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco.

The dropping inventory has caused prices to climb. The median sales price in the 53 metro areas surveyed was $212,000, a 1.4 percent increase from January and a February record.  Only six of the metro areas surveyed saw year-over-year decreases. The largest increases were in Fargo, North Dakota; Burlington, Vermont; Tampa Florida; Indianapolis; and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

“Inventory, not the rise in interest rates, remains the principal constraint on home sales,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “The resale market is driven dramatically by the availability of new homes. Most U.S. markets have a high demand for new home construction, and although it’s good to see housing starts trending upward, we still need more.”

Home on the market in February stayed on the market for 68 days on average, a two-day increase from January, but a seven day decrease from last year. Of the metro areas surveyed, the three with the lowest days on the market were San Francisco at 32; Omaha, Nebraska at 34; and Denver at 38. Augusta, Maine experienced the highest number of days on the market average at 147, closely followed by Chicago at 109.

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