Entry-level homes ‘harder to find’ as listing prices tick up



Realtor.com says the median home listing price in the U.S. topped $300,000 for the first time in history in March, representing a price increase of 7 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

“The typical U.S. home list price has set a new high right on the cusp of the spring homebuying season, and despite a slowing growth rate, home prices will likely continue to set new records later this year,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist, in a statement.

Hale warned that home prices in the U.S. will likely continue to rise as we head into spring. The good new is that inventories should also increase, but this will happen at a slower pace than has been seen in the preceding few months.

“A buyer’s experience will vary notably, depending on the market and the price point they’re targeting,” Hale said.

So-called entry-level homes, which are those valued at $200,000 or below, are therefore becoming harder to find. The availability of such homes has fallen by 9 percent in the last 12 months, realtor.com said.

The overall uptick in list prices in March is mostly due to the rise in inventory in the high-end market. The inventory of homes priced above $750,000 continues to increase, up 11 percent year over year.

Elsewhere, the number of newly listed properties hitting the market fell by 0.4 percent compared to last year, “suggesting that while buyers may have more options to choose from, the share of fresh properties coming up for sale has not increased,” realtor.com said in its report.

The housing markets that saw the largest inventory decreases in March were: St. Louis (down 19 percent); Washington, D.C. (down 14 percent); and Oklahoma City (down 11 percent). On the other hand, the metros seeing some of the biggest upticks in inventories were mostly in pricier, West Coast markets, like San Jose, Calif. (up 114 percent); Seattle (up 77 percent); and San Francisco (up 44 percent).

About Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.