Sees Increased Home Buyer Activity For Spring

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Spring officially started on March 20th, but for, the busiest time of the year for the housing market may have begun long before the calendar officially switched to Spring.

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Despite the fact that inventories in many markets remain near record lows, statistics for the month of February show that buyers got an early start on the spring home buying season. Nationally, listing inventories and median list prices were up, while the median number of days that homes for sale were on the market dropped off significantly.

The inventory of homes available, or total number of homes for sale on, climbed 1.15% between January and February. That's good news for buyers in markets where there is limited inventory, because purchasing a home in a seller's market comes at a higher cost.

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Homeowners are seeing that there's more demand for homeownership than there are homes available, so many are listing their properties now while inventory remains low.

Since they realize it's a seller's market, many homeowners are listing their properties at an aggressive price, banking on the assumption that they'll receive multiple offers from competing buyers. The result is a higher national median list price, which increased to $189,900 in February on That's a 1.01% increase compared to February 2012, and a 1.55% increase compared to January 2013.

CEO James Paffrath says: “Historically, home listings, and consequently, home sales begin to pick up in March or April, and continue to hold strong through the summer. However, the data from February shows that reluctant sellers have taken notice that inventory is down, which has driven sale prices up.”

Because there has been a shortage of homes for sale, the median age of inventory keeps dropping. That's a real estate term that basically describes how long a home is on the market before it sells. In February, the median age of inventory fell to 98 days. That means that houses sold 9.26% faster than they did in January, and 11.71% faster than they did in February 2012. And luckily, the gains weren’t limited to one particular state or region. The median age of inventory decreased in 145 of the 146 markets tracked by analysts.

“So, many have decided to take advantage of the opportunity, and listed their homes earlier this year than they would have in years past.” Says James Paffrath

Now that inventories are starting to rise, buyers who have the finances and are willing to spend the money are already purchasing homes instead of waiting for the warmer spring weather to roll around – meaning that this Spring could get very interesting!

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