April 17, 2012 (Jeff Alan)
Strong housing numbers in March was good news for the battered housing industry as year-over year home prices increased for a second consecutive month according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR) giving the real estate organization hope that this selling season could be one of the strongest in years.
Closed transactions of home purchases increased 1.5 percent from February to March and were 25.4 percent higher than in March 2011, the ninth consecutive month home sales have increased year-over-year.
Thirty-three out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions, down from 45 metro areas in February. Wilmington, DE (+41.8%), Omaha, NE (+30.6%), Providence, RI (+26.6%), Tulsa, OK (+26.0%), Chicago, IL (+23.7%) and Milwaukee, WI (+21.4%) recorded the highest year-over-year gains in closed transactions in March.
The median sales price of homes sold in March was 7.3 percent higher than in the previous month of February, increasing from $171,881 to $184,525. The median sales price was 5.8 percent higher than the median price of $177,001 in March of 2011. It was the second consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 18 months of declines.
Thirty-six of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in March than they did a year earlier, up from 24 metro areas the previous month. The areas that posted the largest price gains during the month were Detroit, MI (+22.8%), Miami, FL (+21.8%), St. Louis, MO (+18.5%), Phoenix, AZ (+18.2%), Atlanta, GA (+13.7%) and Orlando, FL (+12.7).
The average number of days it took to sell a home in March was 101, two days less than in February. The average month’s supply of inventory in March was 5.3, down from 6.6 months in February and down from a 7.1 months supply of homes in March 2011.
Housing supplies continued to dwindle with the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declining by 2.8 percent from February and 23.2 percent from March 2011. It was the 21st consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.
Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC., stated, “With buyers starting to jump into this market, this year’s selling season is shaping up to be the strongest we’ve seen in years. Although we don’t expect home prices to rise in every market at the same rate, the worst is definitely behind us, and a slow, steady recovery is taking hold.”
Tags: home sales, home prices, seasonal trends, closed transactions, median sales price