The existing home sales numbers are out. “Sales of previously owned homes edged up slightly in March but not enough to keep the inventory of unsold homes from hitting a record high as the once-booming housing market continued to flash signals of a slowdown.”
“The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes edged up a tiny 0.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.92 million units. The March increase followed a bigger 5.1 percent jump in February with the two months representing the first advances since five consecutive monthly declines.”
“Total housing inventory levels rose 7.0 percent at the end of March to 3.19 million existing homes available for sale.”
“The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $218,000 in March, up 7.4 percent from March 2005 when the median was $203,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Historic price data has been revised back to 1989, including updates to reflect geographic changes over time, but price patterns are consistent with previously reported data.”
“NAR President Thomas M. Stevens said changes in the housing market mean consumers need more professional guidance. ‘Changing waters require navigational adjustments, and this is especially true for home sellers in most areas who are now dealing with buyers that are on equal footing, it’s no longer a seller’s market,’ said Stevens.”
“‘Most buyers in today’s market are well-informed and have agents that represent their interests, so sellers need good advice on how to show and market their homes in the current environment, as well as negotiation skills, critical values that real estate agents bring to the table.”
The 7% increase in inventory was a monthly number. The year over year increase was 39%.