Last year, U.S. consumers seemed to be operating with a renewed but cautious optimism. The stock market was strong, wages were edging upwards and home buying activity was extremely competitive. Not much has changed in 2018 in terms of those measures, yet there is a sort of seasoned prudence mixed into the high emotions that go with a major expense like a home purchase. We are now several years deep into a period of rising prices and low inventory. Those in the market to buy a home have caught on. As sellers attempt to take advantage of rising prices, expect buyers to be more selective.
New Listings were down 7.3 percent to 493. Pending Sales increased 6.3 percent to 388. Inventory shrank 9.3 percent to 2,007 units. Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 9.8 percent to $328,000. Days on Market decreased 4.4 percent to 153 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 19.4 percent to 5.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
Whatever external forces are placed upon residential real estate markets across the country – whether they are related to tax legislation, mortgage rates, employment situation changes, new family formations, the availability of new construction and the like – the appetite for home buying remains strong enough to drive prices upward in virtually all markets across the country. New sales are not necessarily following that trend, but monthly increases are expected until at least late summer.
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