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The March of Housing Market Performance

Sales increased by around 29% month over month in March, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. However, RE/MAX notes that March’s data is still the lowest in five years, and 8.6% lower than March 2018.

“It was encouraging to see month-over-month sales improve during March,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although the seasonal bounce that typically ends the first quarter wasn’t as strong as in the past few years, conditions are in place for a healthy spring selling season. Falling interest rates, rising inventory and moderating price increases against the backdrop of a healthy overall economy are cause for optimism for buyers and sellers alike.”

March was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines and the sixth straight month of year-over-year inventory growth. Housing activity in the report’s 54 markets nationwide also saw the Median Sales price grow by 3.4% year-over-year—notably smaller than the year-over-year increases in February (5.5%) and January (4.6%).  However, the median sales price has risen by more than 3% year-over-year in 17 of the last 18 months.

According to RE/MAX, the average number of closed transaction is up by 28.8% month over month as of March, and down 8.6% year over year. Sales prices rose month over month and year over year, up by 2.5% from February 2019, and up 3.4% from March 2018. The current median sales price out of the 54 metro areas RE/MAX studied was $246,000.

Home stayed on the market for three days less in March 2019 over February, at 59 days. This is a two day increase year-over-year.

Additionally, inventory increased month over month in March by 0.3% from February 2019 and up 5.3% from March 2018. RE/MAX estimates that, given the Rate of Sales data, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.7 from 3.7 in February 2019, and from 3.0 in March 2018. 

Inventory got a slight boost going into April, as residential real estate building permits increased month over month according to the latest Residential Construction Report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000, 0.6 percent above the revised March rate of 1,288,000, but is 5.0 percent below the April 2018 rate of 1,364,000. Additionally, single‐family authorizations in April were at a rate of 782,000, 4.2 percent below the revised March figure of 816,000.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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