RE/MAX Survey of 53 Metros Finds Home Prices Up Again

According to a March 2012 housing report released by RE/MAX, home prices have risen for the second month in a row now on a year-over-year basis. The RE/MAX report included 53 metro areas and found the median price in March was $184,525, a 7.3% price increase from February, and a 5.8% increase from a year ago in March 2011. A consecutive increase on a year-over-year basis has not occurred since August 2010, according to the report.

Also, according to the March report, of the 53 metro areas, 36 experienced year-over-year price increases, with 10 seeing double-digit gains including Detroit, Michigan (+22.8%); Miami, Florida (+21.8%); St. Louis, Missouri (+18.5%); Phoenix, Arizona (+18.2%); Atlanta, Georgia (+13.7%); and Orlando, Florida (+12.7%).
“Although we don’t expect home prices to rise in every market at the same rate, the worst is definitely behind us, and a slow, steady recovery is taking hold,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX. March home sales surged 25.4% compared to February and rose by 1.5% a year ago. RE/MAX attributed the significant increase to good weather, low interest rates, attractive pricing, and improving consumer confidence.Of the 53 metro areas included in the March survey, 33 experienced a year-over-year increases in sales, 17 of which saw double-digit growth including Wilmington, Delaware ( +41.8%); Omaha, Nebraska (+30.6%); Providence, Rhode Island (+26.6%); Tulsa, Oklahoma (+26%); Chicago, Illinois (+23.7%); and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (+21.4%).
For homes sold in March, the average number of days on market was largely unchanged at 101, two days less than February’s average and three days less than the year ago average.The average inventory of homes on the market in March dropped 2.8% from the previous month of February and 23.2% from March 2011. The drop in March marks the 21st consecutive month inventories have fallen. The months supply dropped to 5.3 months compared to February’s 6.6 month supply and the 7.1 month supply in March 2011. Months supply is the number of months it would take to clear a inventory at the current rate of sales. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

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