Spring Buying Season Starts Early

Residential real estate is off to the races with spring home buying season velocity driven by strong demand and slight inventory growth, according to realtor.com®’s preliminary analysis of February data. Housing inventory is moving six days faster than last year and four days faster than January. Median listing prices are also up, clocking in at $230,000, an eight percent increase from last year and a one percent increase from last month.

“It looks like the groundhog was correct—spring is coming early this year, and not just when it comes to the weather,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. Early readings on February inventory and activity indicate that the spring home buying season has begun. We don’t usually see this type of acceleration until March or April. On a local level, the acceleration is really dramatic with nine of the top ten hottest markets shaving three weeks or more from their median age in January.”

The median age of inventory is now estimated at 96 days, which is down six percent year over year and four percent from January. Median listing price for February is estimated at $230,000, up eight percent year over year and one percent from January. Listing inventory is down 4 percent year over year but has begun its seasonal increase of one percent month over month.

Realtor.com®’s Hottest Markets receive two to five times the number of views per listing compared to the national average.  In terms of supply, these markets are seeing inventory move 44-78 days more quickly than the rest of the US.  They have also seen days on market drop by a combined average of 32 percent month-over-month or an average of 22 days.

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California dominates the list again this month with eight of the top 10 markets, while Florida, Texas and Colorado feature multiple markets.

San Francisco retains the first spot this month, as California maintains its dominance with eight of the top 10 markets and the majority of the top 20. Boulder, Colorado Springs, Portland and Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna are new entrants to the top 20.  Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Boulder, and Portland were the biggest gainers, moving up 11, 8, and 7 spots respectively.  Colorado joins California and Florida as having multiple markets in the 20 hottest markets.

For more information, visit www.realtor.com.

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