REALTOR.COM® Data Preview: Spring Home Buying Frenzy Starts Early as Prices Reach Record Highs

REALTOR.COM® DATA PREVIEW:  Spring Home Buying Frenzy Starts Early as Prices Reach Record Highs

March Data Finds Little Relief to Inventory Shortage, with Homes Selling Eight Days Faster than Last Year

Prices in the residential real estate market hit record highs in March while for-sale inventory remained at historic lows, according to new data on inventory and demand from realtor.com®.

 Sales also continued to strengthen in March, with homes moving 10 percent more quickly than last year – even as prices continue to increase.

The median age of properties on realtor.com in March is expected to be 69 days, which indicates that properties are selling eight days faster than this time last year. The typical spring upswing in buying and selling has come about a month earlier than usual, and the median age of for-sale listings is now 22 days less than last month.

In March the nationwide median home list price pushed above $250,000 for the first time, where it had hovered since May 2016. Now at $260,000, the median list price is 8 percent higher than one year ago.

Reflecting seasonal shifts, total inventory increased over last month, but remains substantially lower than one year ago. Even with nearly 492,000 new listings added to the market in March, inventory continues to fall short of buyer demand.

Javier Vivas, manager of economic research at realtor.com, said:

“Calendars might say spring is only a week old, but we’re already in the thick of the most frenzied spring home buying season on record. The median days on market for homes on realtor.com in March saw the biggest drop since the end of the recession, and half of homes are now selling in less than 69 days nationally. Low inventory continues to be a significant problem, but record-high prices are also keeping waves of buyers at bay.” 

Key Statistics:

  • Median age of inventory is estimated to end at 69 days, down 10 percent from last year and down 24 percent from last month.
  • Median listing price for March should reach a record high of $260,000, an 8 percent increase year-over-year and 4 percent increase month-over-month.
  • Listing inventory in March should show a decrease of 13 percent year-over-year. Additionally, March inventory should show a 2 percent increase over February.
  • Realtor.com’s Hottest Markets receive 1.7- to 2.6-times the number of views per listing compared to the national average. In terms of supply, these markets are seeing inventory move 18-44 days more quickly than the rest of the U.S. The hottest markets are also seeing inventory move faster than last month. The median age is 14 days faster for the hottest markets on average from February.

REALTOR.COM® HOTNESS INDEX

20 Hottest Markets

March Rank

March Median Age of Inventory

February Rank

February Median Age of Inventory

Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

1

33 days

1

33 days

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

2

26 days

2

27 days

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

3

38 days

3

44 days

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

4

30 days

4

39 days

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

5

25 days

5

24 days

Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif.

6

39 days

7

53 days

Colorado Springs, Colo.

7

36 days

9

59 days

San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

8

38 days

6

38 days

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

9

39 days

24

68 days

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.

10

42 days

18

66 days

Santa Rosa, Calif.

11

43 days

19

67 days

Columbus, Ohio

12

46 days

16

68 days

Stockton-Lodi, Calif.

13

43 days

8

51 days

Fort Wayne, Ind.

14

49 days

26

72 days

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

15

45 days

34

72 days

Modesto, Calif.

16

41 days

11

55 days

Ann Arbor, Mich.

17

48 days

22

70 days

Midland, Texas

18

45 days

12

62 days

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

19

51 days

13

65 days

Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

20

45 days

14

58 days


**Realtor.com reviewed listing views by market as an indicator of demand and median days on market as an indicator of supply. This analysis led to the identification of the 20 hottest medium-sized to large markets in the country.

Key Takeaways from realtor.com’s® March Hotness Index:

  • California again dominated the list with 10 markets, but six other states were represented (Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Indiana).
  • Vallejo-Fairfield retained its spot as the nation’s hottest market.
  • The new entrants to the top 20 in March were Santa Cruz, Calif., Fort Wayne, Ind. , Grand Rapids Mich., and Ann Arbor, Mich., up 15, 12, 19 and 5 spots respectively since February.
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