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5 housing trends to watch this spring

Mortgage » 5 Housing Trends To Watch In Spring 2015

Still not enough homes

Where listings have risen and fallen

The Davenport, Iowa, metro area had the largest percentage increase in the inventory of real estate listings in one year, while the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metro area in California had the largest decrease.

Metro areaMedian Asking PriceListingsListings Y/YMedian Age of Inventory
Metro area: United StatesMedian asking price: $214,000Listings: 1,597,390Listings Y/Y: -10.90%Median age of inventory: 102
Metro area: Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-ILMedian asking price: $124,000Listings: 1,990Listings Y/Y: 22.40%Median age of inventory: 96
Metro area: Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CAMedian asking price: $326,000Listings: 8,857Listings Y/Y: 19.80%Median age of inventory: 63
Metro area: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FLMedian asking price: $219,000Listings: 13,662Listings Y/Y: 11.90%Median age of inventory: 83
Metro area: Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJMedian asking price: $218,000Listings: 4,294Listings Y/Y: 10.70%Median age of inventory: 131
Metro area: East Stroudsburg, PAMedian asking price: $144,000Listings: 2,442Listings Y/Y: 8.90%Median age of inventory: 141
Metro area: Sherman-Denison, TXMedian asking price: $154,000Listings: 596Listings Y/Y: -31.70%Median age of inventory: 101
Metro area: Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TNMedian asking price: $263,000Listings: 9,152Listings Y/Y: -32.30%Median age of inventory: 54
Metro area: Manchester-Nashua, NHMedian asking price: $268,000Listings: 1,795Listings Y/Y: -34.30%Median age of inventory: 103
Metro area: Sebastian-Vero Beach, FLMedian asking price: $244,000Listings: 1,960Listings Y/Y: -36.00%Median age of inventory: 83
Metro area: Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CAMedian asking price: $640,000Listings: 1,694Listings Y/Y: -36.70%Median age of inventory: 46

Realtor.com Monthly Housing Summary, February 2015

Still not enough homes

If you are looking to buy a home, get ready to compete with other buyers this spring. The inventory of homes available for sale will likely continue to tighten, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com. In February, the number of home listings decreased 10.9 percent, compared with the previous February, according to data released by Realtor.com.

"Inventory is probably one of the biggest variables to potentially worry about holding back the market this year," Smoke says.

Locked in by low rates

That's especially the case for entry-level homes. The situation might worsen as mortgage rates rise and homeowners reconsider moving and losing the low mortgage rate they have locked long term, he adds.

"There's going to be a mortgage rate lock-in effect," Smoke explains. "People will become less likely to want to trade up because they won't be able to improve their position financially."

But the lack of inventory of homes for sale isn't a problem everywhere. Realtor.com says some growing markets where inventory has been increasing include:

  • Detroit metro area, with a 5.7 percent increase in inventory from February 2014 to February 2015.
  • Pittsburgh, up 3.9 percent over the same period.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, up 3.3 percent.
  • Indianapolis, up 1.9 percent.

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