As anticipated from the housing data presented so far in 2022, the busy spring season got off to another strong start this year. According to the most recent RE/MAX National Housing Report, March 2022 set report records for highest Median Sales Price ($360,000) and lowest Months Supply of Inventory (1.0) across the report’s 51 U.S. metro areas. Home sales, meanwhile, stayed in line with the typical increase from February to March seen over the past five years.
High demand continues to fuel market activity, says RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey
“The market remains very active right now, especially on the demand-heavy buy side,” he says. “You have buyers rushing to beat mortgage rate hikes as well as buyers ready to roll as soon as the right listing appears. Inventory remains the biggest concern for hopeful buyers, but with sellers watching homes get snapped up in record time, the idea of cashing in on their equity gain continues to have great appeal. If things heat up even more in the coming months, buyers may have more choices and purchasing power should additional sellers choose to enter the market.”
Despite recent interest rate hikes, RE/MAX agents across the U.S. say they’re still seeing high homebuyer demand – and maybe some benefits.
Here are just a few examples:
• In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, RE/MAX Alliance (Westminster, CO) agent Nick Painz noted that even if some potential buyers are deterred by rising rates, there’s still a line of aspiring buyers ready to move up in the queue.
• Debra Beagle, Managing Broker/Owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage (Nashville, TN) told WKRN that while the number of multiple offers in her market may be declining due to the rise in rates, the shift could actually help more FHA buyers get their contracts accepted.
• RE/MAX Posh Properties Broker/Owner Mary Ann McMahon reminded readers in a recent article from KVUE Austin that interest rates are still quite low and recalled that when she bought her first home in the early 2000s, her rate was close to 9%.
It’s widely agreed that inventory needs to rise. More than half of the market areas measured in the RE/MAX March report stated a supply of less than one month. For context, a six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.
An April 2022 report released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) showed that builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes moved two points lower to 77 in April. NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter called on government authorities to address escalating material costs, saying, “Policymakers must take proactive steps to fix supply chain issues that will reduce the cost of development, stem the rise in home prices and allow builders to increase production.”
Here’s the other need-to-know data in the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report:
1. Home Sales Remain Strong
March home sales jumped 32.2% over February, despite a slight decline of 6.5% year-over-year. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were Anchorage, AK at -20.6%, Billings, MT at -18.9%, and Augusta, ME at -18.2%. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increases were Wilmington/Dover, DE at +6.0%, Little Rock, AR at +4.1%, and Portland, OR at +1.7%.
2. Home Prices Are Still Rising
In March 2022, the median of all 51 metro Median Sales Prices was $360,000, up 4.7% compared to February 2022, and up 16.7% from March 2021. No metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Thirty-five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Billings, MT at +31.2%, Tampa, FL at +29.1%, and Phoenix, AZ at +28.5%.
3. On Average, Homes Are Selling in One Month’s Time
The average Days on Market for homes sold in March 2022 was 31, down four days from the average in February 2022, and down eight days from the average in March 2021. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Nashville, TN at 11, Seattle, WA at 12, and Omaha, NE at 13. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 96, New York, NY at 79, and Miami, FL at 76. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Potential home buyers and sellers should consider the whole picture when looking at their local housing market and deciding if it’s an optimal time to jump in. Contact a RE/MAX agent who can help provide guidance on this important decision today.