With the looming ghost of Hurricane Sandy overhead, it’s difficult to ascertain how much this March’s housing statistics have actually improved in comparison to last year.
Monthly sales increased fifteen percent from last month, a hopeful sign of a steady spring and summer season.
Mortgage rates have seesawed back and forth in March but have remained relatively stagnant. Fortunately, sales have gone up fifteen percent from the month before, with 223 homes sold in March. When compared to last year (pre-Sandy) the numbers are seemingly on track for a strong spring/summer sales period, although difficult to accurately compare with this exact time last year due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
The average cumulative number of days that homes have spent on the market was 166, thirty percent higher than February, posing a slight concern for sellers, despite the increase in home sales.
The astoundingly low number of homes on the market altogether has seen a slight uptick, bringing it to 1855, not nearly enough to impact our declining confidence in the seller’s market. While a small increase, the number of homes on the market has not been this low in over four years, creating an overall domino effect on the market.
Conversely, the average list price as well as the average sale price have both increased from the month before. The average list price increased just one percent bringing it to $436,678 for the month of March 2014. The average sale price for March was $415,609, a two percent increase from the previous month. The previous numbers reveal that homebuyers were receiving less of a discount for their new homes by paying 95.17% of their new homes listing price, almost a full one percent increase from the month before.
The median sales price for the month of March rested at $378,000, an almost five percent decrease from $395,00 the month before. While homebuyers have received a slightly smaller discount, the median price paid was lower than the month before, meaning that homes are not only selling at lower prices, but also slightly more quickly than in February.
While no clear trends have been taking place, one thing is for certain, we need more homes on the market! With mortgage rates relatively low, and more buyers than sellers, it is essential for the improvement in our economy that more people put their homes on the market. Hopefully, with the dreadful winter finally having come to a close, more people will be inclined to sell their homes.