Home Sales and Prices Pick Up Steam as Supply Shortage Continues into Spring

Real Estate News & Analysis

Home Sales and Prices Pick Up Steam as Supply Shortage Continues into Spring

March market speed continues the trend of 2017 being the fastest housing market on record

Home prices continued their five-year run of increases in March, up 7.5 percent from last year to a national median sale price of $273,000. Sales growth was also strong, up 8.9 percent, even as the number of homes for sale fell for the 18th consecutive month, down 13 percent Y-O-Y. The typical home went under contract in 49 days, making it the fastest March for home selling on record since Redfin began tracking this data in 2010.

chart 1
Market Summary March 2017 Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Median sale price $273,000 4.6% 7.5%
Homes sold 243,800 42.7% 8.9%
New listings 346,700 33.0% -0.7%
All Homes for sale 707,200 3.1% -13.0%
Median days on market 49 -11 -11
Months of supply 2.9 -1.1 -0.7
Sold above list 21.7% 2.4% 1.1%
Average Sale-to-list 93.7% 0.5% -0.4%

Nearly one in five (19.1%) homes that sold in March went under contract within two weeks, and 21.7 percent of homes sold for more than their list price.

“In addition to the laws of supply and demand, today’s open and immediate access to home listing information is really driving the velocity of home sales,” said Redfin Los Angeles real estate agent Alec Traub. “In the past, buyers had to wait for their agent to tell them which homes were for sale. Now, when I meet a client for the first time, they already have a home in mind and I can jump in to guide them on what it will take to win it.”

chart 2

The overall speed and competition in March was driven primarily by hot markets out West such as Denver, Seattle and California’s Bay Area. Denver tied with Seattle as the fastest market in March, with the typical home going under contract within just eight days in these two cities. This isn’t new for Seattle, where homes were selling at the same pace a year ago, but in Denver homes went under contract 21 days faster this March than they did last year.

Most buyers in the Bay Area paid more than the asking price in March. In San Jose, 69.6 percent of homes sold above list; 66.7 percent sold above list in San Francisco, as did 65.9 percent in Oakland. Despite the competition, home sales increased across all three metros in the region.

As spring 2017 shapes up to be the fastest and most competitive housing market in recent years, we asked Redfin agents what buyers can do to make sure they don’t miss out on the right home once they’re ready to make an offer. Here’s what they had to say:

“As a seller’s agent, the first thing I do when I receive an offer is ask who the lender is. The best offers come from buyers who are pre-approved by a local lender with a strong reputation for speed and reliability. If I’ve worked with the lender before and know they can fund the loan and close on time, I am sure to highlight that for my client.” — Tiffany Aquino, Redfin Agent in Woodbridge, VA

“I’ve seen too many buyers miss out on their first choice because they were unrealistic about what the home would actually sell for in a strong market. If you’ve been pre-approved up to $450,000, you should be shopping for homes listed at or below $400,000 so you have room to escalate in a bidding war” — Kathy Miller, Redfin agent in Seattle, WA

“Most people have heard about the power of including a compelling cover letter along with their offer. These are important and they work, but it’s also important for your agent to make a connection with the listing agent. My clients often win with less-than-perfect offers because I’ve taken the time to earn the listing agent’s trust.” — Lindsay Katz, Redfin agent in Los Angeles, CA

“Offer a free 60-day rent-back up front. Many sellers are attempting to time the sale of their home while also trying to find a replacement home in a competitive market. The easier you make the sellers’ life, the more attractive your offer becomes.” —  Adrienne Kieschnick, Redfin agent in Dallas, TX

Read additional creative bidding war strategy ideas from Redfin agents.

Other March Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO, and Seattle, WA, were the fastest markets, where the typical home was under contract in just eight days. Oakland, CA and San Jose, CA were the next fastest markets with 13 and 14 median days on market respectively.
  • The most competitive market in March was San Jose, CA, where 69.6% of homes sold above the asking price, followed by 66.7% in San Francisco, CA, 65.9% in Oakland, CA, 56.6% in Seattle, WA and 44.4% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

Sales

  • 32 out of 90 metros saw sales increase by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 41%, followed by Baltimore, MD, up 40.6%. Camden, NJ rounded out the top three with sales up 31.6% from a year ago.
  • Home sales in Buffalo, NY and Provo, UT declined by 23.0% and 14.8%, respectively.

Inventory

  • Rochester, NY had the largest inventory decline, falling 39.0% since last March. Buffalo, NY (-34.5%), Rochester, NH (-33.2%), and Portsmouth, NH (-31.4%) also had far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Fort Myers, FL had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 32.4% year over year, followed by Knoxville, TN (22.3%) and Austin, TX (10.3%).

Below are market-by-market breakdowns for prices, inventory, new listings and sales for markets with populations of 1.5 million or more. For downloadable data on all of the markets Redfin tracks, visit the Redfin Data Center.

Median Sale Price

Redfin Metro Median Sale Price Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Atlanta, GA $210,600 5.3% 8.5%
Austin, TX $295,000 2.8% 6.5%
Baltimore, MD $240,000 4.8% 4.3%
Boston, MA $369,000 7.0% 7.4%
Charlotte, NC $225,000 10.3% 13.1%
Chicago, IL $226,000 8.7% 11.8%
Cincinnati, OH $160,000 13.4% 9.2%
Cleveland, OH $127,000 5.8% 12.9%
Columbus, OH $174,900 7.8% 5.1%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $250,000 1.8% 11.1%
Denver, CO $370,000 4.7% 8.8%
Detroit, MI $158,000 9.0% 13.7%
Edison, NJ $270,000 0.0% 1.8%
Fort Lauderdale, FL $230,000 9.5% 13.9%
Hampton Roads, VA $212,800 1.4% 3.4%
Houston, TX $225,000 1.5% 6.1%
Indianapolis, IN $159,500 3.2% 4.4%
Kansas City, MO $179,900 2.8% 2.9%
Las Vegas, NV $225,000 1.9% 12.5%
Long Island, NY $385,500 -3.6% 4.2%
Los Angeles, CA $551,600 2.1% 6.3%
Miami, FL $270,000 1.9% 12.5%
Milwaukee, WI $190,000 17.3% 9.1%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN $238,000 8.2% 8.7%
Nashville, TN $265,000 6.0% 12.8%
Oakland, CA $650,000 8.3% 11.6%
Orange County, CA $648,500 4.6% 7.2%
Orlando, FL $220,000 5.8% 15.5%
Philadelphia, PA $220,000 4.8% 4.8%
Phoenix, AZ $234,500 1.1% 6.6%
Pittsburgh, PA $140,500 8.9% 4.1%
Portland, OR $357,400 4.9% 10.0%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA $332,000 2.8% 7.1%
Sacramento, CA $345,000 2.0% 4.5%
San Antonio, TX $195,000 -1.4% -1.5%
San Diego, CA $520,000 3.0% 7.2%
San Francisco, CA $1,185,000 0.0% 8.2%
San Jose, CA $957,000 9.4% 11.3%
Seattle, WA $484,900 6.2% 14.5%
St. Louis, MO $163,000 9.5% 3.8%
Tampa, FL $200,000 3.1% 14.3%
Washington, DC $375,000 4.3% 7.2%
National $273,000 4.6% 7.5%

Homes Sold

Redfin Metro Homes Sold Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Atlanta, GA 10,273 51.1% 16.2%
Austin, TX 2,535 29.9% -5.4%
Baltimore, MD 4,146 64.3% 40.6%
Boston, MA 4,420 44.9% 2.1%
Charlotte, NC 2,970 54.6% 10.9%
Chicago, IL 10,420 57.7% 23.6%
Cincinnati, OH 2,066 50.9% 15.7%
Cleveland, OH 2,125 38.3% -2.9%
Columbus, OH 2,374 29.2% 9.1%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 7,724 32.2% -3.5%
Denver, CO 4,798 44.6% 10.5%
Detroit, MI 5,002 32.5% 9.2%
Edison, NJ 2,661 32.7% 23.7%
Fort Lauderdale, FL 3,397 47.8% 2.7%
Hampton Roads, VA 2,029 49.9% 6.3%
Houston, TX 7,075 35.7% 5.8%
Indianapolis, IN 2,689 57.1% 13.8%
Kansas City, MO 2,794 54.8% 5.7%
Las Vegas, NV 3,893 39.4% 11.6%
Long Island, NY 1,968 -9.6% -13.2%
Los Angeles, CA 6,610 47.4% 7.2%
Miami, FL 2,741 30.5% -4.1%
Milwaukee, WI 1,429 37.9% 4.8%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 4,894 57.4% 26.4%
Nashville, TN 3,015 38.6% 5.1%
Oakland, CA 2,216 54.5% 1.0%
Orange County, CA 2,811 48.0% 7.9%
Orlando, FL 4,246 30.4% 18.3%
Philadelphia, PA 4,410 56.8% 27.4%
Phoenix, AZ 9,222 42.9% 13.2%
Pittsburgh, PA 2,051 59.9% 24.0%
Portland, OR 3,260 42.6% -6.8%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 5,371 43.2% 9.1%
Sacramento, CA 2,459 34.1% -7.1%
San Antonio, TX 2,197 23.6% -10.4%
San Diego, CA 3,213 41.9% 2.4%
San Francisco, CA 1,115 62.3% 5.4%
San Jose, CA 1,266 54.4% 4.7%
Seattle, WA 3,804 36.4% -1.1%
St. Louis, MO 3,475 54.2% 27.2%
Tampa, FL 6,425 58.5% 18.5%
Washington, DC 7,888 47.5% 22.6%
National 243,800 42.7% 8.9%

New Listings

Redfin Metro New Listings Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Atlanta, GA 13,470 40.0% 2.2%
Austin, TX 4,220 43.4% 12.4%
Baltimore, MD 5,639 52.9% -0.8%
Boston, MA 7,989 72.4% -11.9%
Charlotte, NC 3,979 28.9% 2.1%
Chicago, IL 16,624 26.4% -4.7%
Cincinnati, OH 2,832 29.1% -8.6%
Cleveland, OH 3,345 36.2% -2.5%
Columbus, OH 3,078 34.9% 1.4%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 11,089 32.5% 7.0%
Denver, CO 6,183 45.0% 13.1%
Detroit, MI 6,596 30.8% -2.0%
Edison, NJ 4,671 24.6% -5.9%
Fort Lauderdale, FL 4,656 15.0% -3.9%
Hampton Roads, VA 3,053 41.9% 6.6%
Houston, TX 11,197 30.0% 8.8%
Indianapolis, IN 3,480 42.3% 1.8%
Kansas City, MO 3,991 36.4% 1.1%
Las Vegas, NV 4,618 25.6% -0.4%
Long Island, NY 3,799 28.4% -6.7%
Los Angeles, CA 8,847 35.2% 1.0%
Miami, FL 5,045 21.1% 5.1%
Milwaukee, WI 2,339 42.4% -2.7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 7,467 51.5% 2.1%
Nashville, TN 4,037 30.2% 1.5%
Oakland, CA 2,986 38.6% -1.7%
Orange County, CA 3,890 37.7% 1.1%
Orlando, FL 4,961 17.4% 3.7%
Philadelphia, PA 6,581 27.9% -9.3%
Phoenix, AZ 10,865 19.6% 6.1%
Pittsburgh, PA 2,619 38.6% 2.4%
Portland, OR 4,212 43.9% -2.2%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 6,674 23.0% 1.1%
Sacramento, CA 3,505 51.0% -3.9%
San Antonio, TX 3,373 34.8% -5.0%
San Diego, CA 4,169 31.0% -2.7%
San Francisco, CA 1,587 42.2% -0.1%
San Jose, CA 1,774 44.7% -10.2%
Seattle, WA 4,941 50.4% -5.2%
St. Louis, MO 5,274 35.1% 5.6%
Tampa, FL 6,999 19.8% 5.4%
Washington, DC 12,322 50.0% -2.1%
National 346,700 33.0% -0.7%

All Homes for Sale

Redfin Metro All Homes for Sale Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Atlanta, GA 31,864 17.4% -2.6%
Austin, TX 6,232 10.8% 10.3%
Baltimore, MD 9,327 3.4% -21.4%
Boston, MA 9,216 6.5% -29.2%
Charlotte, NC 9,670 9.8% -7.5%
Chicago, IL 40,774 7.2% -13.3%
Cincinnati, OH 7,729 7.0% -18.2%
Cleveland, OH 8,294 2.5% -19.4%
Columbus, OH 6,051 5.5% -13.3%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 15,258 1.4% -8.8%
Denver, CO 5,103 16.2% -7.2%
Detroit, MI 9,782 -5.7% -27.0%
Edison, NJ 12,215 -0.3% -16.6%
Fort Lauderdale, FL 13,723 -2.2% -14.2%
Hampton Roads, VA 7,472 3.9% -11.0%
Houston, TX 23,328 3.3% -1.1%
Indianapolis, IN 6,266 2.1% -21.8%
Las Vegas, NV 11,077 1.0% -23.3%
Long Island, NY 10,363 4.5% -22.0%
Los Angeles, CA 14,597 0.0% -3.9%
Miami, FL 18,054 -1.6% -3.4%
Milwaukee, WI 5,874 11.4% -14.7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 10,000 12.8% -15.3%
Nashville, TN 8,598 5.8% 7.0%
Oakland, CA 2,282 7.9% -12.7%
Orange County, CA 6,789 7.1% -4.8%
Orlando, FL 9,343 -5.5% -25.8%
Philadelphia, PA 14,294 6.5% -19.4%
Phoenix, AZ 22,119 -0.5% -13.8%
Pittsburgh, PA 9,153 5.0% -13.6%
Portland, OR 4,300 1.7% -7.7%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 14,892 -3.4% -8.2%
Sacramento, CA 3,677 4.0% -23.3%
San Antonio, TX 6,969 1.3% -13.3%
San Diego, CA 4,788 0.2% -26.7%
San Francisco, CA 1,871 10.6% -4.2%
San Jose, CA 1,470 12.7% -25.9%
Seattle, WA 3,024 8.5% -31.2%
St. Louis, MO 11,532 1.6% -7.6%
Tampa, FL 12,642 -5.6% -25.8%
Washington, DC 15,002 9.9% -19.9%
National 707,200 3.1% -13.0%
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