The National Housing Trend Report for March was just released by Realtor.com, and it offers some great news for spring homebuyers: The market is much healthier this year, and with the growth in inventory and days on the market for the buyers and with modest price increases present, the overall outlook is good.
The stats from Realtor.com showed a 9.5 percent growth over March of last year, with 1,841,844 units at a median price of $199,900, which was also 5.3 percent higher. Last year showed an imbalance with a shorter supply and a heavy increase in home prices.
"Bidding wars in many markets last year frequently elevated offer prices beyond the reach of first-time buyers who could scarcely save for the down payment," offered Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move. "While inventory is still low, the continuing annual lift in the number of homes on the market that we've seen over the first months of 2014 is an indicator that buying conditions this year may be notably improved from the frenzied pace of last spring."
More homes on the market is always a good sign for first-time buyers and those looking to move up. There is less competition, and that makes it that much easier to get a home.
Despite this good news, home sales are still relatively slow overall due to the current health of the housing market. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index for February 2014 showed a 10.5 percent decline compared to the same period in 2013, the eighth straight month of decline for pending sales. With contract signings stable over the last few months, though, buyer traffic looks to be making a comeback.