March home sales, prices spring higher

by MPA22 Apr 2015
March home sales rose a significant 33.9% over sales in February, marking the third largest single month increase since the RE/MAX National Housing Report began in August 2008. When compared with sales last March, the increase was 9.9%.

The median sales price of $204,000 in March was also higher than last year by 8.5%. The inventory of homes for sale appears to be stabilizing, with only a fractional loss of 0.4% from February, according to RE/Max. With a higher rate of sales, the resulting month’s supply of inventory fell further to 3.7 on a scale where six months indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

"The prime selling season this year is starting with a bang. After a harsh winter, it appears many consumers are eager to get out and shop for a new home, despite lingering inventory issues and rising prices,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, chairman and co-founder.  “The many positive stories we're hearing from our agents across the country are reflected in these very impressive March numbers.”

In the 53 metro areas surveyed for the March RE/MAX National Housing Report, the average number of home sales increased 9.9% over sales in March 2014 and were 33.9% higher than February sales. The increase from February also marks the third largest increase from February to March. Every metro experienced double-digit sequential sales increases except Baltimore, which saw an 8.4% monthly increase.

In March, 43 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis, and 31 of those saw increases in double-digits, including Richmond, VA +33.9%, Billings, MT +25.3%, Orlando, FL +24.7%, Portland +23.4%,  Tampa, FL +22.7% and Trenton, N.J. +22.6%. 

For all homes sold in March, the median sales price was $204,000. This is 9.7% higher than the median price in February, and 8.5% above the median price in March 2014. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for 38 consecutive months. Continuing price appreciation is the result of pressure from a constrained inventory, which has been an average of 10% lower than the same time last year over the last five months.

Among the 53 metro areas surveyed, 48 reported higher sales prices than one year ago, with 18 rising by double-digit percentages, such as Detroit, MI +19.2%, Fargo, ND +19.0%, Denver +17.8%, Chicago +16.6%, Manchester, NH +15% and Minneapolis +14.8%.


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