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Inventory Remains Near Record Lows, But Is Relief in Sight?

Another day, another housing record broken. Realtor.com has released new information showing that home prices have hit another record high—$405,000—for the first time in March 2022. 

But as prices rise, demand is beginning to moderate according to Realtor.com. In addition to new construction rates being at a 16-year high, they expect inventory rates to reach positive territory year over year sometime this summer. 

"Despite the $405,000 price tag, March data reveals we are starting to take some steps towards a more balanced market," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. "Buyer demand is moderating in the face of high costs, and we're beginning to see more homeowners take price cuts on their listings and overall inventory declines lessen in response. Assuming all these factors and new construction hold steady, we could begin to see inventory increases this summer—welcome news for buyers who have endured pandemic home shopping and can continue their journey despite higher buying costs.” 

“For buyers currently in the market, there's good reason to aim to find a home before interest rates increase further,“ Hale continued. “But if it takes longer than a few months, don't give up hope, as there may be more to choose from in the summer months." 

Breaking down the data, the median listing price of a home is now $405,000, up 13.5% from March 2021 when the median listing price was $370,000. From February 2022, the median price increased by $13,000 from $392,000. 

The number of active listings now sits at 381,950, a number that is down 18.9% year over year, and is also down 62.3% year over year, right during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which began in March 2020. This means that for every five homes that were for sale before the pandemic, there are only two homes today. 

In addition, new listings are down 3.4% and the median number of days a home is on the market is 38, down 11 days from one year ago. 

But Realtor.com believes that inventory numbers should improve this summer as buyers are being increasingly priced out of market. Currently there are 89,000 fewer homes on the market than there were a year ago. 

“This is likely caused by the affordability one-two-punch of rising interest rates and all-time high listing prices,” Realtor.com said in their report. “For buyers still actively searching for a home, this could provide some relief as competition declines. However, it indicates that some homebuyers may have put plans on hold, despite the fact that the current rental market offers little relief from high prices.” 

To view a complete copy of Realtor.com’s data, including a breakdown of data for the top 50 metropolitan areas, click here. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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