Pending home sales in the U.S. jumped in March

Rockford, Illinois | mortgage rate news

Pending home sales show impressive gains in March

The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales saw a 3.4% increase in March. Economists actually predicted a 0.3% decline, but strength in sales throughout the country blew the forecast away.

Pending home sales are a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, not closings.

However, despite the gains, pending home sales are still “in a fairly narrow range over the last 12 months without a measurable breakout. Meaningful gains will only occur with declining mortgage rates and rising inventory,” said NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, in a release.

Where is the hottest housing market in the country?

According to new rankings released by the Wall Street Journal and, Rockford, IL is the hottest metro area in the country.

Conor Brown, CEO of the NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors, stated, “It’s a great validation of what we’re seeing locally in the market with our year-over-year price increases, hitting our record highs. We know we’re such an affordable market, but we have seen an influx of people from Chicagoland and elsewhere coming into the market being so impressed with how much they can buy, and they’re really helping drive the prices.”

The Rockford metro area earned high praise for its affordable housing inventory, and its growing health care, aerospace, and logistics industries.

The median home price in Rockford is around $235,000, well below the national average, but up nearly 52% from a year ago. Homes in the Rockford area only stayed on the market an average of 29 days in March 2024.

Where is housing inventory surging & prices cooling?

Recent data provided by Dow Jones showed that several metro areas have seen a surge in home listings over the past month, and prices there may be cooling off.

In the report Cape Coral, FL showed a 51% year-over-year increase in available home inventory when comparing March 2024 to March 2023. Cape Coral also saw 41% of its available listings see a price cut in March 2024.

The North Port-Sarasota, FL area came in second with a 48% surge in listings year-over-year, but 48% of available listings saw a price cut.

Eric Auciello, a Tampa, FL-based sales manager at Redfin, said, “Two years ago, the North Port metro was one of the most competitive housing markets in the country because it was affordable for remote workers and there was a shortage of homes for sale, but none of those things are true today.”

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