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Redfin: Buyer Interest Up Amid Inventory Shortage

Buyer demand continues to climb as 2013 marches on, according to results in ""Redfin's"":http://www.redfin.com/ most recent Real-Time Demand Pulse.

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The March survey, which uses data collected from February, shows buyer interest rising against a backdrop of low inventory.

""After an extremely strong January, tours and offers continued climbing in February, despite a continued decline in new listings and increasing frustration among buyers,"" Redfin analyst Tim Ellis wrote on the company's ""blog"":http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2013/03/buyers-undeterred-by-inventory-shortage.html. ""As more buyers begin searching for a home, they find themselves competing for fewer homes for sale, [COLUMN_BREAK]

resulting in high levels of activity on nearly every well-priced home that hits the market.""

According to Redfin's data, the number of customers requesting tours from the broker's agents gained 6.1 percent month-over-month from January. Last year, tour requests declined 3.7 percent between January and February.

Meanwhile, the number of customers making offers with Redfin agents rose 20.3 percent month-over-month, a modest improvement compared to the 27.7 percent gain observed at the same time in 2012.

While Ellis noted the number of customers making offers always increases ""dramatically"" at the start of the year, the last week in February saw 267 percent more customers making offers than during the holiday slump, a significant improvement over the 168 percent gain in the same period last year.

""A strong display of buyer activity and steadily rising prices is adding up to increasing seller confidence, but so far it hasn't been enough to motivate enough sellers to notably improve the inventory situation,"" Ellis wrote. ""It is unlikely that the balance will change much over the next few months, but we could see more sellers jump into the market if the spring home-buying season is as intense as it is currently shaping up to be.""

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