The March 2019 Housing Market Recap reflects that existing home sales fell in March after a strong uptick the month before. All regions saw a drop in sales, with the Midwest taking the biggest hit, but prices continued their climb nationwide. The pace of sales was faster than it was in February, but slower than a year ago. Inventory continued its increase both month-over-month and year-over-year, trending positive for buyers.
March existing home sales fell 4.9 percent from February, and are down 5.4 percent compared to March 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) March Existing Home Sales Report, released April 22nd.
Inventory increased from February to March, and was up year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 3.9 months, up from 3.6 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in March was $259,400, an increase of 3.8 percent from March 2018 ($249,800). We’ve now reached 85 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. Put another way, that’s 7 years of price growth.
Days on the market (DOM) were down from February, moving from 44 to 36. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 30 days, so while the sales pace increased month-over-month, it was slower year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month. Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the jobs markets. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”
Regions: Sales down across the country. The Midwest saw the greatest decrease in sales, dropping 7.9 percent. Comparing March to February, sales fell 6 percent in the West, 3.4 percent in the South, and 2.9 percent in the Northeast. The Midwest led year-over-year price increases at 4.6 percent, followed by the West at 3.1 percent, the Northeast at 2.5 percent, and the South at 2.4 percent. Columbus, OH snagged the top spot this month on the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the March Top 10 were Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, Midland, TX, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA, Stockton-Lodi, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Odessa, TX, Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, and Modesto, CA.
Inventory increase is good for buyers, but…. The uptick in inventory is a plus for buyers, but homes are not staying on the market for long. If you want to buy, be prepared. You’ll be at a disadvantage if your offer doesn’t include financing. Discuss your home loan options with a First Choice Loan Services Inc. mortgage loan originator. Start your exciting journey home today!
Timothy M. Sheahan, Jr.
Executive Vice President | Secondary