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The spring selling season enticed more sellers into the housing market in March but inventory levels still remained tight by historic standards according to the latest housing data of 146 metro areas released by Realtor.com.

The total number of existing homes for sale increased 2.36 percent from February to March with 1,529,432 single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops listed for sale during the month. Compared to a year ago, there were still 15.22 percent fewer homes available for purchase during the month.

The median list price for an existing home in March was $190,000, up only 0.05 percent from February and up by the same amount from March of last year.

Year-over-year, the top five most improved area’s were located in California led by a 56.12 percent increase in the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc area followed by Sacramento (+47.53%), Oakland (+32.39%), San Jose (+31.11%) and Orange County (+27.90%). California held nine of the top ten spots where listing prices have increased year-over-year with Phoenix being the lone region outside of California to break the top ten.

The area’s suffering the greatest decline in median list prices were Peoria-Pekin, IL (-10.72%), Columbia, MO (-8.57%), Springfield, IL (-9.69%), Dayton-Springfield, OH (-7.32%) and Akron, OH (6.08%).

List prices are not necessarily indicative of selling prices, but may signal market sentiment by sellers. All together, one hundred of the areas saw an increase in list prices, while ten areas were unchanged from the previous year and 36 area’s posted a decline.

The average number of days that an existing home spent on the market fell to 78 in March from 98 in February and was down from 89 days in March of last year. Only 17 out of the 146 metropolitan areas required 100 days or more to sell a home.

Residents selling their homes in the southern region of South Carolina continued to wait the longest to sell their homes, averaging 152 days on the market. Residents in Oakland had the shortest wait for the 18th consecutive month, averaging 14 days on the market.

Tags: housing inventory, listed homes, home prices, median sales price, average list price


Reported by Chris Moore