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Spring Brings Uptick in Home Sales, But Inventory Remains Low

Following weak home sales during the first two months of the year resulting from extreme winter weather, March sales picked up 24.6 percent across the 52 metros measured in the RE/MAX National Housing Report [1]. However, despite the significant increase, March sales are 10.1 percent below their year-ago level.

With sales rebounding just in time for spring homebuying season, the market continues to demonstrate its persistent trends of rising prices and low inventory.

“A low supply of homes for sale continues to characterize today’s market,” RE/MAX [2] reported. Housing inventory is down 0.2 percent over the month and 5.9 percent over the year.

Current inventory stands at 4.1 months’ supply. A six months’ supply indicates a balanced market.

As a result of low inventory, homes continue to fly off the market rather quickly. For the past 22 months, the average home sold was listed for sale for fewer than 90 days. In March, the average home sold spent 77 days on the market.

Meager inventory has helped push prices ever higher. The median sales price in March was $186,941, according to RE/MAX, demonstrating a 3.6 percent increase over the month and an 8.8 percent increase from last year. March marks the 26th consecutive month of home price increases, according to RE/MAX data.

Forty-one of the 52 metros observed in RE/MAX’s report recorded annual price increases in March.

“Clearly, unexpected winter storms resulted in a slow start for housing this year, but the strong rebound in March sales could build momentum for spring and summer,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly.