31 May 2016
The 2016 homebuying season is in full swing, with homes in May moving as fast as we’ve seen since the housing recovery began – even as asking prices continue to hit new record highs.
Based on preliminary May data released by realtor.com, the median age of properties on realtor.com in May was 65 days, which was the same median age as a year ago and three days faster than last month. The median home was listed at $250,000 – 9 percent higher than one year ago and 2 percent higher than April. For-sale housing inventory also continues to increase on a monthly basis, but is still lower than one year ago. More than 550,000 new listings have been added to the market so far this month.
“Based on our early read of demand and supply data in May, this spring’s real estate market is coming in strong, just as we expected,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com. “Pent-up demand and low mortgage rates are driving consumers into the market with urgency. However, the recurring issue of limited supply is leading to record-high prices.
“Thankfully, we are finally seeing gains in new single-family construction and new home sales to provide a pressure release. Potential buyers are finding they can avoid a competitive bid situation if they elect to sign a contract on a home to be built. As the share of new homes sold goes up, we should eventually see signs of more balance in the existing home market, like lower price appreciation. However, we clearly aren’t there yet.”
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