Markets & Economy

March home sales were through the roof

  • The limited supply of houses caused a huge surge in sales as the spring season kicked off.

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March homebuyers blew the roof off housing markets as they heeded warnings about the limited supply of homes for sale. Needless to say, they found houses in record time.

National monthly market reports on March transactions chronicled surge of sales as the spring season kicked off and tens of thousands of new listings turned over in a matter of days.

“We expected a seasonal uptick in sales this time of year, and March certainly met and somewhat exceeded that expectation,” said Re/Max CEO Dave Liniger.

“Calendars might say spring is only a week old, but we’re already in the thick of the most frenzied homebuyer season on record,” concurred realtor.com’s Javier Vivas.

Every report told the same story: the plunge in days on market was breathtaking as buyers gobbled up new listings as soon as they hit MLSs.

The month’s supply in Re/Max’s latest National Housing Report had fallen below for three consecutive months as of March for the first time in history.

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Redfin reported its fastest March on record for home sales since it began tracking this data in 2010.

In the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) existing home sales report, days on market fell from 45 days in February to 34 days in March. Realtor.com showed it drop from 90 days to 68 days; Re/Max went from 71 days to 64 days; and Redfin dropped from 60 days to 49 days.

The three-year inventory drought coupled with the spring surge in demand pushed prices even higher; and although wages have increased, they aren’t keeping up with the rise in home pricing.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $865 in the first quarter of 2017 — an increase of 4.2 percent from a year ago.

Despite wage growth, home prices continue to outpace incomes.

Steve Cook is editor and co-publisher of Real Estate Economy Watch. Visit him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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