Note: March 2021 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales fell in March, marking two consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The month of March saw record-high home prices and gains. While each of the four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month drops, all four areas welcomed year-over-year gains in home sales.
Total existing-home sales (transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 3.7% from February to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.01 million in March. Sales overall climbed year-over-year, up 12.3% from a year ago (5.35 million in March 2020).
The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $329,100, up 17.2% from March 2020 ($280,700), as prices increased in every region. March’s national price jump marks 109 straight months of year-over-year gains.
Realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time-on-the-market data and listing views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in March were Manchester, N.H.; Concord, N.H.; Vallejo, Calif.; Burlington, N.C.; and Springfield, Ohio.
Total housing inventory at the end of March amounted to 1.07 million units, up 3.9% from February’s inventory and down 28.2% from one year ago (1.49 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.1-month supply at the current sales pace, marginally up from February’s 2.0-month supply and down from the 3.3-month supply recorded in March 2020. Inventory numbers continue to represent near-historic lows; NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.
“Without an increase in supply, the society wealth division will widen with homeowners enjoying sizable equity gains while renters will struggle to become homeowners,” Yun said.
Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in March, down from 20 days in February and from 29 days in March 2020. Eighty-three percent of the homes sold in March 2021 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in March, up from 31% in February and down from 34% in March 2020. NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in March, down from 17% in February and up from 13% in March 2020. All-cash sales accounted for 23% of transactions in March, up from both 22% in February and from 19% in March 2020.