Thanks to a lack of supply and an abundance of demand, house prices have never been higher than they are right now.
According to new data from the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price for an existing single-family home rose to $334,500 in March, a record high.
March’s sales prices were 18.4% above where they were in March 2020, an increase that is also an all-time record.
Overall, the median sales price for all existing-home transactions, which includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose by an annual record of 17.2% to a record high of $329,100.
March 2021 marked the 109th straight month of yearly gains in home prices, which basically means that home prices have been rising for more than nine years straight.
The price increases come as existing-home sales fell in March by 3.7% compared to February, marking the second straight month of decline in overall home sales.
However, despite the monthly decline, sales in March were up 12.3% compared to March 2020.
As for why sales were down but prices were up, it’s really all about inventory, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
"Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market,” Yun said. "The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory. Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising."
As Yun intimated, inventory figures remain near historic lows.
According to NAR’s data, the total housing inventory at the end of March was 1.07 million units, which was actually up 3.9% from February, but still down 28.2% from last year.
Yun also noted that the homes that do hit the market are selling quickly, but the actual figures might make heads spin.
According to NAR’s report, homes typically stayed on the market for just 18 days in March, down from 20 days in February and from 29 days in March 2020. In fact, 83% of the homes sold in March were on the market for less than one month.
The solution is simple: more inventory. As for whether that’s going to happen or not, that’s a different question.