Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest quarterly report. The report covered three important aspects of the housing market:
- Buyer Demand
- Supply of Housing Inventory
- Single Family Residential Prices
With information supplied by other real estate professionals as well as the graph above, I want to break down the highlights of the report for you as well as provide several quotes from Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist at NAR.
Total existing-home sales (which include single family homes and condos) were at an annual rate of 4.97 million in the first quarter of 2015. This represents a number which is 6.2 percent higher than the pace during the first quarter of 2014. This is also substantially higher than the 3.6% anticipated future growth.
Yun: "Sales activity to start the year was notably higher than a year ago, as steady hiring and low interest rates encouraged more buyers to enter the market."
Supply of Housing Inventory
There were 2 million existing homes available for sale at the end of the first quarter of 2015 which represents a 4.6 months’ supply of inventory. That number is down from 4.9 months a year ago. A healthy balance of supply between buyers and sellers is 6 to 7 month’s supply of inventory. Low inventory equates with a seller’s market.
Yun: "With supply remaining tight—especially at the entry-level price range—buyers will need the expertise and local market insight of a Realtor® to help them through each intricate step of the buying process."
Single Family Residential Prices
Home prices accelerated in 148 out of 174 metro areas (85%) during the first quarter of 2015 and the number of areas experiencing double-digit price appreciation doubled compared to last quarter. Compared to last quarter, the number of regions experiencing double-digit price appreciation doubled.
The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $205,200, compared to $191,100 in first quarter of 2014. This represents a 7.4% increase year-over-year. And those median home prices are higher here in Kitsap County.
Yun: “…stronger demand without increasing supply led to faster price growth in many markets…Homeowners throughout the country have enjoyed accumulating household wealth through the steady rise in home values in the past few years."
Whether you are thinking about buying your first home or selling your current residence to buy the home of your dreams, you’ll want to work with a professional to discuss how the numbers above have affected your neighborhood's prices as well as impact your future choices. Interested in knowing more? Looking for that house of your dreams? Give me a call – I am happy to help!