's Jonathan Smoke takes a look at the most prominent trends that are taking shape as the real estate market prepares to transition from its slowest period to its busiest this spring.

Key highlights include a strengthening economy, which ended the quarter up after a rocky start to the year and added 215,000 jobs in March. Additionally, consumer confidence recovered in March after dipping in February, and it currently stands near multiyear highs. And, while the number of consumers who plan to purchase a home is at its highest point in eight years, there still aren't enough newly constructed or existing homes on the market to meet the demand.

Listings have grown in February and March, but demand is growing even more quickly, so homes are selling much more quickly. The median age of inventory declined 19 days from February to March. And, nope, this isn’t a California-only phenomenon. Markets such as Rochester, Minn., Madison, Wisc.,; Durham, N.C.; and Boston saw their median age of inventory decline by a month!

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