What does the latest housing market data have to say about the spring market?

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How is the spring housing market shaping up?

We’re a couple of weeks into the spring housing market, but has the market started to thaw from last year’s deep freeze? According to the most recent data from Altos Research, the answer is ‘yes’. There is currently more active inventory, more listings, and more completed sales than the same time a year ago.

There are 513,000 single-family homes available on the current market. That’s almost a 25% increase from the same week last year.

When it comes to new listings, last week saw 55,000 new listings during the Easter holiday. This is slightly lower than the previous week, but that’s due to a slower holiday market. The team at Altos Research expects new listings to jump this week.

About 65,000 single-family homes took offers last week, again that was down slightly due to the Easter holiday. For comparison, this week’s sales during a holiday were actually as high as last year’s non-holiday week. Altos is seeing this as a positive sign, and again expects a jump this week.

Are condos the new starter home?


According to a recent article from Realtor.com, condos are in fact the new starter home for first-time homebuyers. Realtor.com’s senior economic research analyst, Hannah Jones, stated, “It is possible that condos are becoming increasingly desirable for first-time homebuyers because they tend to be more affordable, especially in areas that have seen rapid single-family home price growth.”

Generally, speaking, condos are 5% to 7% cheaper than similarly-sized single-family homes. Marisa Simonetti, the founder of Simonetti Real Estate Team in Minneapolis, said, “Condos could be the new starter home, as many are more affordably priced than single-family homes. With increased interest rates, the sale price is that much more important for affordability.”

First-time homebuyers may have to contend with HOA fees and rules that single-family homes may not come with, but condos represent an opportunity to build equity in a property, and enable a larger ‘forever’ home purchase in the future.


What do markets with fresh housing supply look like?


An article from Fortune.com detailed what metro areas that are actually seeing improvement in new home developments look like. According to their data, metro areas with the highest share of mortgage-free homeowners saw the largest increase in listings.

Senior economist from Zillow, Orphe Divounguy, stated, “Unsurprisingly, most of these homeowners belong to older generations, having built equity in their home(s) over the span of many years, and/or those who live in more affordable markets.”

Divounguy went on to say, “Research shows that mortgage rate lock-in led to a 18% reduction in the probability of a home sale for every percentage point that market mortgage rates exceeded a homeowners’ origination mortgage rate, thus preventing roughly 1.33 million transactions between the second quarter of 2022 and the end of 2023. The supply reduction increased home prices by 5.7%, even as demand for housing slowed amid very challenging affordability conditions.” 


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