Year-over-year, the Radian Home Price Index (HPI) also rose 8.8% year-over-year in March, which was slightly higher than the year-over-year increase of 8.3% recorded for February. Radian’s HPI is calculated based on the estimated values of more than 70 million unique addresses each month, covering all single-family property types and geographies.
“There has been no taking the foot off the pedal this winter season, as home prices during the first quarter continue to grow,” said Steve Gaenzler, SVP of Data and Analytics for Radian. “Sales transactions are still closing at rates not seen in prior winters and, in fact, are at higher levels than some spring or summer months of the past. We continue to see a broad “seller” market for real estate across the nation.”
Nationally, Radian’s HPI found the median estimated price for single-family and condominium homes rose to $274,256 in March from $272,186 in February. Distressed sales in March 2021 represented just 4.4% of all sales, marking the ninth consecutive month of sub-5% market share for distressed sales, a reflection of the continued impact of forbearance measures and foreclosure moratoriums in effect nationally.
All six regional indices recorded positive home price appreciation rates in Q1, as the first quarter 2021 recorded the highest number of listed sale transactions ever. At more than 750,000 sales, the first quarter beat sales in Q1 of 2020 by almost 50,000 sales. Months of Supply, which helps measure the balance between supply and demand, stood at 3.7 months of supply in March, down from 5.6 months in March of last year.
The Northeast recorded the slowest rate of appreciation in Q1, and while the state of Vermont was very active throughout 2020, the rate of appreciation has been weaker in 2021 than other regional states thus far in 2021. According to Radian, Connecticut continues to outperform prior year appreciation, and Maine is the strongest state in the region from a price performance perspective.
The West and South continue to accelerate home price gains. In Q1 2021, homes recorded higher gains than the prior month, and only eight of the 22 states that comprise these two regions had lower rates of appreciation when compared to Q4 of 2020. Florida and Louisiana were two of the better performing states during Q1.
“While we anticipate many potential sellers to reconsider listings postponed during COVID, there still remains a natural shortage of home supply across the U.S., and a similar set of first-time buying millennials and other buyers, sidelined last year as well,” said Gaenzler.