New residential real estate activity has been relatively slow in the first quarter of
2018, yet housing is proving its resiliency in a consistently improving economy.
Some markets have had increases in signed contracts, but the vast majority of the
nation continues to experience fewer closed sales and lower inventory compared to
last year at this time. Despite there being fewer homes for sale, buyer demand has
remained strong enough to keep prices on the rise, which should continue for the
New Listings were up 4.0 percent to 1,760. Pending Sales increased 8.8 percent to
1,470. Inventory grew 6.3 percent to 3,614 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 5.7 percent to $166,000. Days
on Market decreased 19.5 percent to 66 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
3.1 percent to 3.3 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.
The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate by .25 percent in March,
citing concerns about inflation. It is the sixth rate increase by the Fed since
December 2015, and at least two more rate increases are expected this year.
Borrowing money will be more expensive, particularly for home equity loans, credit
cards and adjustable rate mortgages, but rising wages and a low national
unemployment rate that has been at 4.1 percent for five months in a row would
seem to indicate that we are prepared for this. And although mortgage rates have
risen to their highest point in four years, they have been quite low for several years.
Information courtesy of CMLS*