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Sunny Days for Housing Market, But Challenges Remain

Realtor.com’s April Housing Report gave favorable reviews of the current housing market, as the average listing price, days on the market, and available inventory all saw year-over-year improvements.

The average U.S. listing price grew 7% from last year to $310,000, and homes sold in April sold in 58 days, one day quicker than last year. The increase in the average listing price over the past year is slightly lower than the 8% increase reported in 2018.

National inventory grew 4% year-over-year, while inventory in large markets increased 10%. The increase in inventory amounted to nearly 60,000 additional listings.

New listings have increased by 3% compared to the same time last year.

Markets that saw the biggest inventory gains were San Jose, California (92%); Seattle (82%), and San Francisco (39%). St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; and Rochester, New York saw decreases in inventory of 16%, 15%, and 10%, respectively.

CoreLogic’s Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, released last month, found that home prices in the U.S. grew by just 4.3% in February 2019. The Case-Shiller reported stated that prices for the top 10 metropolitan areas increased 2.6%, which is down from January’s 3.1% increase. The top 20 markets also posted a gain of 3% year-over-year, down 3.5% in January.

Realtor.com’s report wasn’t all positive, however, as the number of homes that had their prices cut increased by 2% when compared to 2018. Among the nation’s largest markets, 37 out 50 saw an increase in the amount of price reductions. Las Vegas had the highest increase in reductions at 15%.

The report also stated that just nine of the top 50 markets surpassed the national increase of 7%. Milwaukee (13%); Kansas City, Missouri (12%); and Rochester, New York (12%) posted the biggest year-over-year price growth in April.

Also included in the report was that the number of home prices above $750,000 increased 11% year-over-year, while the number of homes less than $200,000 declined by 8%. The report stated that the decline in the number of "starter homes" continues the 9% year-over-year decline, indicating homebuyers will face competition toward the affordable end of the market.

Zillow previously reported that 45 million people will reach the typical age for first-time buyers—34 years old—within the next decade, which is 3.1 million more than during the previous decade. According to Zillow, while values for affordable homes have increased 57.3% over the past five year, inventory has dropped 23.2%.

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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