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Housing Data Shows Surge in Demand, Median List Prices

house-sittingon-money1-300x198An early look at the realtor.com national monthly housing data, which is based on the first three weeks of March, showed that housing demand is surging and median list prices are rising faster.

The median age of inventory declined by 13 percent month-over-month in March despite a 2 percent increase in inventory for that same period, according to realtor.com. Meanwhile, the median list price for a home rose nationally by 3 percent month-over-month and 11 percent year-over-year up to $220,000 for March.

“It’s still a seller’s market,” said Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com chief economist. “Realtor.com data shows that supply is not keeping pace with surging demand.  We expect rising prices to persuade those who may be on the fence about listing their homes to do so in the coming months, leading to closer parity between supply and demand.”

The realtor.com data concurred with Fannie Mae's March 2015 Housing Survey, which also showed signs of a seller's market. The percentage of respondents in Fannie Mae's survey who said they believe now is a good time to sell reached an all-time survey high of 46 percent while the percentage of people surveyed who said now is a good time to buy declined slightly to 20 percent, possibly indicating a move toward a more balanced housing market.

Smoke determined the 20 hottest housing markets in the nation based on the number of listing views relative to the number of listings when looking at March data and website traffic. Realtor.com said these markets should see plenty of activity in the next few months as homebuying season gets underway. The top 20 markets were: 1. Waco, Texas; 2. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana; 3. Ann Arbor, Michigan; 4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado; 5. Santa Rosa, California; 6. Fort Wayne, Indiana;  7. Vallejo-Fairfield, California; 8. San Diego-Carlsbad, California; 9. Columbus, Ohio; 10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan; 11. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire; 12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire; 13. Austin-Round Rock, Texas; 14. Boulder, Colorado; 15. Springfield, Illinois; 16. Charleston, West Virginia; 17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida; 19. College Station-Bryan, Texas; and 20. Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan.

Realtor.com's full report will be out later this month.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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