According to a new National Association of Realtors report, the number of residences on the market in January was down by 2.2% to 1.82 million properties.

Realtor staffer Clare Trapasso reports that the low supply of homes on the market is a reason behind the home price increases. In order to keep homeownership affordable, new-construction needs to keep up with demand. Sales in the Northeast have jumped 20.6%, with a median home price of $247,500, while in the Midwest it increased 18.2% with a median price of $164,300.

“With a much lower level of homes for sale, buyers that are hoping to close early this year can’t afford to wait,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of®. “It’s only going to get worse as demand reaches its peak in the spring.”

“Prices [in the West] have also gone up the most,” Smoke says. “It can be starting to take its toll on the number of people who can no longer afford to buy homes in the market.”

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