Kicking off the spring home-buying season, March sales climbed almost 29 percent over February, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report—but this remains the slowest start in five years, with March sales 8.6 percent lower than March 2018.
“It was encouraging to see month-over-month sales improve during March,” says RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although the seasonal bounce that typically ends the first quarter wasn’t as strong as in the past few years, conditions are in place for a healthy spring selling season. Falling interest rates, rising inventory and moderating price increases against the backdrop of a healthy overall economy are cause for optimism for buyers and sellers alike.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in March 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 28.8 percent compared to Feb. 2019, and down 8.6 percent compared to March 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Burlington, Vt., at +48.3 percent, Wichita, Kan., at +46.8 percent, and San Francisco, Calif., at +44.3 percent.
Median Sales Price
In March 2019, the median of all 54 metro median sales prices was $246,000, up 2.5 percent from Feb. 2019, and up 3.4 percent from March 2018. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in median sales price: San Francisco, Calif., at -3.8 percent and Hartford, Conn., at -1.4 percent. Three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages: Manchester, N.H., at +12.2 percent, Omaha, Neb., at +11.8 percent, and Wichita, Kan., at +10.7 percent.
Days on Market
The average days on market for homes sold in March 2019 was 59, down three days from the average in Feb. 2019, and up two days from the March 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Omaha, Neb., and San Francisco, Calif., both at 31, and Denver, Colo., at 35. The highest days on market averages were in Augusta, Maine, at 122, and Burlington, Vt., and Hartford, Conn., both at 97. Days on market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory
The number of homes for sale in March 2019 was up 0.3 percent from Feb. 2019 and up 5.3 percent from March 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in March 2019, the months supply of inventory decreased to 2.7 from 3.7 in Feb. 2019, and from 3.0 in March 2018. A six-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In March 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, Fla., at 6.5 reported a supply at or over six months, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest months supply of inventory were Denver, Colo., at 1.2, and four metros at 1.3: San Francisco, Calif., Seattle, Wash., Boise, Idaho, and Manchester, N.H.
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