March home sales jumped by one-third over February’s total as demand from hordes of eager homebuyers pushed the median sales price above $300,000 for the first time in the 13-year history of the report. Meanwhile, the pace of sales accelerated—to the fastest rate on record for the month of March—dropping an already strained housing inventory to nearly half of what it was a year ago.
“It’s definitely a seller’s market right now, and homes are selling at a feverish pitch, further crimping this historically low inventory situation,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., in a statement. “On average, homes that sold last month had been on the market just 38 days, nearly three weeks less than the March average of 59 days from the past four years.”
Although year-over-year comparisons are skewed by the start of pandemic restrictions in mid-March 2020, housing activity in the report’s 53 markets nationwide last month hit several notable milestones and barely missed another, including:
– The median sales price of $303,000 rose 4.5% above the previous report record of $290,050 in February – and was 14.3% higher year-over-year.
– Inventory dropped to a new report low for the ninth consecutive month and was 45.2% lower year-over-year.
– Average months supply of Inventory set a report record of 1.1, eclipsing the previous low of 1.6 months in February. The figure for March 2020 was 3.2 months of available supply.
– The average days on market of 38 was 16 days less than March 2020 and just two days more than the report record of 36 set last November. March was only the fifth month in report history with average days on market under 40. All five times have occurred in the past seven months.
Contos continued: “New listings are coming onto the market, but because houses are selling so fast, the inventory total can’t keep pace. The result is a constantly thinner range of options for buyers to consider. In many markets, buyers have to race to make an offer—often over listing price—to get the house they want, and that competition creates an attractive environment for sellers. It’s tricky on both sides of the equation, and RE/MAX agents are using their industry-leading experience to help buyers and sellers achieve the best outcome.”
Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics for March include:
In the 53 metro areas surveyed in March 2021, the overall average number of home sales were up 34.3% compared to February 2021, and up 15.0% compared to March 2020 when pandemic restrictions began. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were New York, New York, at 62.6%, San Francisco, California, at 37.9%, and Miami, Florida, at 36.9%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 Metro Median Prices
In March 2021, the median of all 53 metro median sales prices was $303,000, up 4.5% from February 2021, and up 14.3% from March 2020. One metro area, Honolulu, Hawaii, saw a 4.7% decrease year-over-year in median sales price. Thirty-nine metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Boise, Idaho, at 31.9%, Augusta, Maine, at 21.6%, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 20.8%.
Days on Market – Average of 53 Metro Areas
The average days on market for homes sold in March 2021 was 38, down four days from the average in February 2021, and down 16 days from the average in March 2020. The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Salt Lake City, Utah, at 16, and a two-way tie between Boise, Idaho, and Seattle, Washington, at 17. The highest days on market averages were in Des Moines, Iowa, at 94, Miami, Florida, at 90, and New York, New York, at 84. 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 – Average of 53 Metro Areas
The number of homes for sale in March 2021 was down 8.9% from February 2021 and down 45.2% from March 2020. Based on the rate of home sales in March 2021, the Months supply of inventory decreased to 1.1 compared to 1.7 in February 2021, and decreased compared to 3.2 in March 2020. A six-month supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In March 2021, all 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply under six, which is typically considered a seller’s market. The markets with the lowest months supply of inventory were a four-way tie between Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; and Seattle, Washington, at 0.4.
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