The number of homes for sale is on the rise, a long-awaited welcome to home buyers who are finding more selection than last spring and less competition, according to realtor.com’s National Housing Trend Report for March of the 146 markets it tracks.
Inventories of for-sale homes on realtor.com in March increased 9.5 percent higher than year ago levels, according to the report. The median list price is $199,900 – 5.3 percent higher than in March 2013. The median age of inventory has also risen – 22.9 percent above year ago figures to a median of 102 days on the market.
“These figures suggest that the market is more balanced than it was in 2013, when a shortfall in available supply led to double-digit increases in many markets’ housing prices,” according to the realtor.com report. “Having more homes on the market may mean more affordable prices for first-time and move-up buyers. Lack of inventory in 2013 led to intense competition, creating another barrier to home ownership.”
Bidding wars were frequent last year and caused prices to rise and become out of reach to some first-time home buyers who could barely save for a down payment, says Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc.
“While inventory is still low, the continuing annual lift in the number of homes on the market that we’ve seen over the first months of 2014 is an indicator that buying conditions this year may be notably improved from the frenzied pace of last spring,” says Berkowitz.