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Will Entry-Level Homes Catch a Cold This Spring?

home pricesA growth in inventory, as well as home prices in February, are pointing to a "cooler spring market" according to realtor.com's housing data for February.

The report indicated that housing inventory continued to grow at a national and local level and was up 6 percent year-over-year nationally. In the larger markets, inventory grew 11 percent annually. This pace amounted to approximately 73,000 additional listings. February also marked the fifth consecutive month of inventory growth.

“This is the fifth consecutive month that we’ve seen housing inventory increase, especially in large markets,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com. “As is often the case in real estate, the important trends are going on at the local level. We see large markets continue to cool, but some markets still have some strength.”

However, the pace of home sales has remained unchanged with homes in February remaining on the market for an average of 83 days before being sold—the same pace as February 2018. According to the report, this is a notable turning-point in a 51-month stretch of declining time spent on the market. It noted that the share of homes selling faster than 30 days had declined for the first time since realtor.com began tracking this data in 2013.

Giving a break down of home prices, the report noted that the February U.S. median listing price was up 7 percent year-over-year at $294,800.

The report said that the continuing rise in national median home listing prices in the midst of a market slowdown is likely attributed to inventory growth in the upper tier of the nation’s most expensive markets. The number of homes priced $750,000 and above grew 11 percent over last year, while the number of homes $200,000 and under declined by 7 percent.

“We still see fewer homes priced under $200,000 on the market, so entry-level buyers won’t see the same availability of options as high-end buyers,” Hale said.

In February, the share of homes which had their prices cut increased by 2 percent compared to the previous year. This increase was driven by price reductions in the nation’s largest markets.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.

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