Housing seemed to have a slow start to the spring selling season, but appearances deceive. Dig into that spring soil and you begin to unearth differences in individual areas and market segments. Inventory is slowly rising in some areas. Activity is picking up in the upper price tiers. Rents continue to climb in most metros. And interest rates are generally lower than a year ago, to the surprise of some and the delight of others.
New Listings increased 1.2 percent to 4,733. Pending Sales were down 5.2 percent to 3,149. Inventory levels shrank 1.0 percent to 8,953 units.
Prices forged onward. The Median Sales Price increased 10.7 percent to $465,000.
Days on Market was down 9.3 percent to 39 days. Absorption rates slowed as Months
Supply of Inventory was up 6.9 percent to 3.1 months.
Housing is one part of a broader ecosystem that thrives on a strong economy that churns out good jobs. First-quarter employment figures were adequate but not thrilling, but second-quarter numbers figure to be more positive. Access to mortgage capital remains an ongoing concern. As cash and investor deals fade, first-time buyers typically step to the forefront, but tight credit can and has been a real hurdle.
Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO, HAFA, and Short Sale Specialist)
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