As temperatures get hotter, so does the housing market, with price increases totaling 8 percent year-over-year, according to a realtor.com® report. This March climb has sent the median list price from $275,000 in July 2017 to $280,000.
According to the data, March saw 1.29 million listings and homes on the market for 63 days.
“Our latest inventory data tells us buyers are out in full force this spring,” says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for realtor.com. “Never in history have there been more eyes on fewer homes than today. At the end of March, we observed price gains that put us on pace for half of the homes listed this summer to be above $300,000. Buyers are not just paying more for the same home; the mix of homes in the market is rapidly changing.”
The most affordable homes, says Vivas, are the most scarce because they are so sought-after.
“The injection of new listings above $350,000 remains healthy, but inventory between $200,000 and $350,000 remains anemic and non-existent under $200,000,” Vivas says. “This bodes well for buyers in the upper and luxury tiers but paints a darker picture for the entry-level market. If the pattern holds, one in 12 listings nationally will be listed above $1,000,000 this summer, while only one in three will be listed under the $200,000—the sweet spot targeted by nearly half of all buyers. In February, above-$1,000,000 homes made up only one in every 40 home sales.”
Vivas states that this crunch has been coming for some time.
“March housing trends show the inventory depletion we’ve seen over the last two buying seasons is carrying over to this year,” says Vivas. “It’s going to be a languid search for buyers this season as they face the harshest, most competitive buying conditions yet.”