Home sales in March rose by one-third over February's totals, and the demand from homebuyers drove the median sales price up above $300,000 for the first time in the history of a report published by RE/MAX Holdings, franchisor of real estate brokerage services. The data team there goes on to report that, in the meantime, the pace of sales accelerated to the fastest rate on their record for the month of March—that further strained the housing inventory to about half of what it was one year ago.
"It's definitely a seller's market right now, and homes are selling at a feverish pitch, further crimping this historically low inventory situation," said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings. "On average, homes that sold last month had been on the market just 38 days, nearly three weeks less than the March average of 59 days from the past four years."
Contos continued: "New listings are coming onto the market, but because houses are selling so fast, the inventory total can't keep pace. The result is a constantly thinner range of options for buyers to consider. In many markets, buyers have to race to make an offer—often over listing price—to get the house they want, and that competition creates an attractive environment for sellers. It's tricky on both sides of the equation ...."
Just as other researchers have said, the team at RE/MAX remarked that their year-to-year- comparisons are skewed by pandemic-spurred restrictions during March 2020. Nonetheless, they say, housing activity in the report's 53 markets nationwide last month hit several notable milestones:
- The median sales price of $303,000 rose 4.5% above the previous report record of $290,050 in February and was 14.3% higher year over year.
- Inventory dropped to a new report low for the ninth consecutive month and was 45.2% lower year over year.
- Average "months supply of inventory" set a report record of 1.1, eclipsing the previous low of 1.6 months in February. The figure for March 2020 was 3.2 months of available supply.
And the market missed another milestone by only a hair: The average days on the market of 38 was 16 days less than March 2020 and just two days more than the report record of 36 set last November.
Indeed, March was only the fifth month in report history with average days on the market running sub 40.
"All five times have occurred in the past seven months," the authors of the report said.