The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply.
Demand definitely remained strong this month. Closed Sales decreased 3.9 percent for existing homes but increased 3.8 percent for new homes. Pending Sales increased 0.6 percent for existing homes and 2.2 percent for new homes. Inventory decreased 28.6 percent for existing homes but increased 7.1 percent for new homes. The Median Sales Price was up 12.8 percent to $163,500 for existing homes but decreased 3.1 percent to $327,582 for new homes. Days on Market decreased 18.8 percent for existing homes and 11.2 percent for new homes. Supply decreased 32.0 percent for existing homes and 3.6 percent for new homes.
Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.
For more market numbers, click here *Information courtesy of KCRAR and Heartland MLS