Home sales remained close to the same in March according to Redfin editor Lorraine Woellert, who reported that sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-ops rose a modest 1.5% in March from a year ago according to the National Association of Realtors.
The number of existing properties that buyers had to choose from was down 1.5% from a year ago, causing home sales to only see a small increase. All reports seem to be signaling to a steady state of home building right now—“cautiously optimistic,” is how NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz described the mood. Starts on single-family homes fell 9.2% from this same time last year.
One theme running through this week’s data is the shortage of homes for sale. Builders can’t find workers or empty lots. Homeowners are reluctant to put their houses on the market. As a result, inventory has been retreating for 14 straight months, leaving buyers in a bind.
“Tepid sales growth is to be expected given the sorry state of inventory,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said. “And with rates at their lowest in almost two years, each new wave of listings leads to a new crop of buyers and fiercer competition.”
Read BUILDER's coverage of this week's NAR March data report from the Hanley Wood Data Studio here.