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March home sales rise

BREAKING NEWS

Highlights:

  • Metrolist releases March report.
  • Sales rise 31% from February.
  • Listings rise 21% from March 2013.

 

March market snapshot. Source: Metrolist

March market snapshot. Source: Metrolist

Home sale activity in the Denver area picked up strongly from a weak February, according to a report released late this afternoon.

The report by Metrolist shows 3,865 homes were sold last month, a 31 percent increase from the 2,951 in February.

Year-over-year, however, there was a 13 percent drop in sales from the 4,454 in March 2013, when mortgage rates were near never-seen-before levels.

Under contracts, which best reflect the activity in any given month, showed the same trend.

There were 6,544 homes placed under contract in March, a 34 percent jump from the 4,866 in February, but a 6 percent drop from the 6,939 in March 2013. (The March 2013 numbers, however, included under contracts and homes that were in pending status.)

One metric that showed an improvement on a year-over-year basis was the number of active homes on the market.

There were 6,902 active homes available in March, a 21 percent increase in the supply of 5,700 homes in March 2013.

The supply was virtually unchanged from the 6,873 available in March.

At most price points, the number of prospective buyers far outstrips the number of homes available, so the increase of homes on the market is welcome.

The average sold price of $310,992 in March was both 5 percent higher than the $296,370 in February and the $296,169 in March 2013.

The median sold price of $265,000 last month was 6 percent higher than the $250,000 a year ago and 5 percent higher than the $253,000 in February.

“These numbers reflect what is happening in the market,” said independent broker Gary Bauer.

“March was a good month,” Bauer continued. “March is the start of the spring selling season and buyers are getting a head start. The prime selling season is getting off to a good start.”

One reason that March was so much stronger than February may be that some homes that closed in early March, possibly could have closed in February, but were delayed for one reason or another.

“I think that is part of it,” Bauer said.

Homes also sold faster in March.

The average days on the market fell 20 percent from March 2013 to 47 days and were down 8 percent from February.

“We’re seeing buyers and sellers moving early this year,” said Kirby Slunaker, President and CEO of Metrolist Inc.

“Fortunately, while the market is moving quickly, there’s an increasing inflow of new listings, which is a positive sign for buyers.” Slunaker added.

Despite the more than 20 percent increase in the supply of homes, the market could use more, Slunaker said.

“We continue to see tight inventories—maintaining a supply of just seven to eight weeks—which was often a challenge for buyers and sellers last year,” Slunaker said. “We expect more listings to come on the market as we get closer to spring, but we may also see increases in average price as inventories remain tight.”

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.