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Thursday, June 20, 2024

March Sees Record-Breaking Surge in Housing Prices

Here are some key points about the reported record-breaking surge in housing prices in March:

Rising Prices

  • According to the latest data, the median sale price for existing homes in the U.S. reached an all-time high of $329,100 in March 2024.
  • This represents a staggering 14.8% increase from March 2023 prices.
  • The surge was driven by limited housing inventory, high demand from buyers, and low mortgage rates earlier in the year.

Regional Trends

  • Some of the hottest housing markets with the biggest price gains were in the South and West regions.
  • Cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Tampa saw home prices jump over 20% year-over-year.
  • Even traditionally more affordable markets like Oklahoma City and Memphis experienced double-digit price appreciation.

Inventory Crunch

  • The number of homes for sale remained extremely low, with just a 2-month supply nationally based on the current sales pace.
  • Buyer demand continued to outpace the number of properties listed, further fueling bidding wars and rapid price growth.
  • Building material and labor shortages have constrained new home construction, exacerbating the lack of inventory.

Affordability Concerns

  • The combination of record prices and moderately higher mortgage rates in recent months has strained affordability for many buyers.
  • First-time and middle-class buyers are increasingly being priced out of desirable markets.
  • Housing affordability hit a 10-year low in March according to the National Association of Realtors.

While the housing market boom has benefited sellers, the pace of price appreciation is unsustainable long-term. Policymakers and industry experts warn that affordability issues could lead to a market cooldown if not addressed.

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