Inventory and price continued to rise for the month of April, suggesting a healthier national housing market, according to the National Housing Trend Report released by Realtor.com. The group cited trends from the previous year, which found "dramatic shortages" being replaced in 2014 by moderate home price gains in tandem with increasing inventories.
Realtor.com believes the bumps in both inventory and asking price suggest a strengthening national economy.
"Home prices and inventories are more in balance in most markets—a sign of improving housing health and optimism across much of the country," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Realtor.com operator Move, Inc. "As sellers gain confidence, we also are watching spring sales data closely to gauge whether buying activity will be in line with these early indicators."
Compared to the previous year, inventories in April were up 14.2 percent to roughly 2 million, while the median list price rose 6.5 percent year-over-year to $207,500. The time homes spent on the market was an average of 86 days, a 6.2 percent increase compared to the year before.
The report noted that although some reports showed a cooling market in the beginning months of 2014, pending home sales in March experienced their first gain, rising 3.4 percent.
The company's report also commented on the slowing rate of home appreciation. The company believes that slowed appreciation signals that housing is becoming more affordable as rising equity comes more in line with asking prices.
"However, these deficits aren't as large, suggesting these markets are not likely to experience the kind of unsustainable appreciation that states like California experienced during most of 2013. While California, Nevada and Arizona continue to see supply-driven increases in prices in many markets, supply is beginning to catch up with demand," the company said.
Energy sector states continue to post strong gains in the housing market, with Texas and Colorado exceptionally strong.