NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this March is the highest pace in ten years. Home sales this March are up 4.4 percent from last month and improved 5.9 percent from last year. March’s existing-home sales reached the 5.71 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $236,400 in March, up 6.8 percent from a year ago. This marks 61 consecutive months of year over year’s gains as prices continue to rise.
Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago, with the South leading all regions with an incline of 8.6 percent. The West followed with a gain of 8.0 percent. The Midwest had a gain of 6.2 percent, and the Northeast had the smallest gain of 2.8 from March 2016.
From February, three of the four regions experienced inclines in sales while the West declined 1.6 percent. The Northeast had the biggest incline of 10.1 percent followed by the Midwest, which had a 9.2 percent incline in sales. The South had the smallest incline of 3.4 percent.
All four regions showed an increase in sales from a year ago with the South leading with an incline of 8.5 percent. The West had a gain of 5.2 percent followed by the Northeast with a gain of 4.1 percent. The Midwest had the smallest gain of 3.1 percent. The South headed all regions in percentage of national sales at 42.4 percent while the Northeast has the smallest share at 13.3 percent.
March’s inventory figures are up 5.8 percent from last month to 1.83 million homes for sale. Because inventories usually increase as we move into the spring season, this is not too surprising. The more important figure to note is that inventories are down 6.6 percent from a year ago which is 22 consecutive months of year over year declines. It will take 3.8 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 34 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 47 days a year ago. This is the shortest days on the market since May of 2016.
In March, single-family sales increased 4.3 percent and condominiums increased 5.0 percent compared to last month. Single-family home sales inclined 6.1 percent and condominium sales were up 5.0 percent compared to a year ago. Both single-family and condominiums had an increase in price with single-family up 6.6 percent at $237,800 and condominiums up 8.0 percent at $224,700 from March 2016.