2013 Home Buying Season Kicks Off Early

*This is a repost from a April 2013 blog.

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Home prices are rising, the number of homes for-sale is showing a slight increase, and homes are selling faster—all signs that spring is in the air in real estate, according to the latest MLS data released by realtor.com®.

Nationwide, median list prices continue to tick up, reaching $189,900 in February. Inventories last month increased 1.15 percent month-over-month, after recently hitting record lows. Also, homes are selling faster with the median age of inventory at 98 days, a 9.26 percent drop from the previous month.

“As we enter the busiest time of the year for home buyers and sellers, our latest housing trend data shows just how competitive the market is with a significant housing recovery well underway,” says Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move Inc. “Looking ahead, we can expect the amount of inventory to increase this spring along with higher list prices as sellers become more comfortable with the market conditions.”

Median list prices were up 5 percent or more in 51 markets on a year-over-year basis, according to realtor.com®. California markets are seeing some of the highest increases in list prices as well as some of the largest declines in for-sale inventory. Other top performing markets include Phoenix, Seattle, and Denver, according to realtor.com®.

“However, many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and the Northeast registered year-over-year price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City,” Lexie Puckett reports in a recent realtor.com® blog post. “While the number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines had been increasing, this pattern appears to be turning around as home list prices increased in 78 markets last month on a year-over-year basis and declined in 39.”

Source: “Spring Home Buying Season Starts Early According to Realtor.com’s February Trend Data,” RISMedia (March 18, 2013)