According to a recent report from Realtor.com, the median U.S. home price just hit $300,000 for the first time. Realtor.com’s March 2019 monthly housing trend report, released on Thursday, reveals a seven percent year-over-year median listing price increase.
"The typical U.S. home list price has set a new high right on the cusp of the spring homebuying season, and despite a slowing growth rate, home prices will likely continue to set new records later this year," said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com's Chief Economist. "Heading into spring, U.S. prices are expected to continue to rise and inventory is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than we've seen the last few months as fewer sellers want to contend with this year's more challenging conditions. A buyer's experience will vary notably depending on the market and price point they're targeting."
Realtor.com notes that the increase in home prices this year has been affected primarily by inventory growth in the high-end of the market. The report notes that for-sale homes priced over $750,000 increased 11 percent year-over-year, despite entry level homes priced $200,000 or below declined 9 percent during the same period.
This season’s increase is still relatively slow compared with recent months. Hale states that the rate of inventory growth slowed compared to the last few months and this slower-growth trend could continue into April, especially if fewer new listings hit the market. March saw a four percent year over year increase in homes for sale, up by 56,000 additional homes.
However, March’s growth was primarily focused in the 50 largest U.S. markets, which saw a nine percent growth in inventory.
Despite the increased inventory, Realtor.com notes that many metroes saw a year over year decline in fresh properties. Nationally, the number of newly listed properties hitting the market declined by 0.4 percent from last year, meaning more options for buyers, but not many fresh opportunities. Some metroes saw significant year over year decreases in inventory. For example, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma City, where inventory declined by 19 percent, 14 percent and 11 percent. The East Coast, however, saw significant inventory gains, with San Jose, California; Seattle, and San Francisco, growing by 114 percent, 77 percent and 44 percent, respectively.