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Homebuyers Experience Less Competition as Home Prices Slide

According to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for March 2023, home sales jumped an estimated 37.7% over February, signaling the start of the peak spring and summer seasons in the report's 52 metro areas.

While inventory was down 2.8% from February's total, March inventory was 56.4% higher year-over-year – due in part to the combination of pending sales and closings being down, leaving homes on the market longer than they were a year ago. The median sales price of $396,000 in March was also down 2.0% year-over-year.

"Compared to last year, there's a lot to like about this housing market, including lower prices and less competition for available listings. Although it would be good to see more new listings coming onto the market, the current conditions offer potential for home buyers and sellers alike," said Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President and CEO. "For those interested in selling, demand for properties remains high and for buyers entering the market, this spring can be a prime time to make a move."

Key Findings:

  • While down year over year, the median sales price ticked up 3.4% from February's $383,500, which is in line with last year when home prices rose 4.7% (from $387,000 to $405,000) from February to March.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory in March was 1.4, down from 1.7 months in February but well above the 0.8 of last March.
  • March's average close-to-list price ratio was 99%, meaning that on average, homes sold for 1% less than the asking price. A year ago, it was 102%.
  • Homes sold in March were on the market for an average of 40 days – six days less than February but two weeks longer than a year ago.

Highlights and local market metrics for March include:

Closed Transactions 
Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in March 2023, the overall number of home sales is up 37.7% compared to February 2023, and down 21.8% compared to March 2022. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were San Francisco, CA at -37.8%, Portland, OR at -36.0%, and Los Angeles, CA at -31.5%. No metro area had a year-over-year sales percentage increase in March.

Examining the Median Sales Price
In March 2023, the median of all 52 metro area sales prices was $396,000, up 3.4% compared to February 2023, and down 2.0% from March 2022. The markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in median sales price were Dallas, TX at -14.1%, Seattle, WA at -11.4%, and San Francisco, CA at -11.3%. Two metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, Omaha, NE at +11.3% and Wichita, KS at +10.0%.

Close-to-List Price Ratio Analysis
In March 2023, the average close-to-list price ratio of all 52 metro areas in the report was 99%, up from 98% in February 2023, and down from 102% in March 2022. The close-to-list price ratio is calculated by the average value of the sales price divided by the list price for each transaction. When the number is above 100%, the home closed for more than the list price. If it's less than 100%, the home sold for less than the list price. The metro areas with the lowest close-to-list price ratio were Dallas, TX at 93%, Miami, FL at 94%, and Coeur d'Alene, ID at 96%. The highest close-to-list price ratios were a three-way tie between Hartford, CTManchester, NH, and San Francisco, CA at 102%.

Days on Market Average
The average days on market for homes sold in March 2023 was 40, down six days from the average in February 2023 and up 14 days from the average in March 2022. The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC, tied at 16. The highest days on market averages were in Fayetteville, AR at 85, San Antonio, TX at 64, and Phoenix, AZ at 58.

Average Months' Supply of Inventory
The number of homes for sale in March 2023 was down 2.8% from February 2023 and up 56.4% from March 2022. Based on the rate of home sales in March 2023, the months' supply of inventory was 1.4, down from 1.7 compared to February 2023, and increased compared to 0.8 in March 2022. In March 2023, the markets with the lowest months' supply of inventory were Seattle, WA at 0.5, followed by a tie between Albuquerque, NM and Charlotte, NC at 0.6. The markets with the highest months' supply of inventory were a tie between Boston, MA and Bozeman, MT at 2.8, followed by Coeur d'Alene, ID at 2.6.

RE/MAX agent Keely McNeal of RE/MAX Legends in Buford, Georgia, says homebuyers are looking beyond interest rates and seeing prices that intrigue them. "We're seeing an influx of buyers entering the market, ready to take advantage. Consumers on both sides of the transaction should work with a local market expert who understands how pricing can be a key differentiator."

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].
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