Affordability & Inventory 2018

Affordability and inventory remain the two major factors holding back real estate sales.

On a month-to-month basis, total existing home sales climbed just 1.1% in March from February, but they still are lagging behind 2017 figures by 1.2%.

Median existing home prices increased in March to 250,000 which is up 5.8% from the 236,000 figure back in 2017.

The numbers for March represented the 73rd straight month of the year-over-year gains.

It seems that affordability is being impacted by the boost in jobs, bringing more buyers into the market, coupled with additional cash coming from the windfall fro tax cuts.

Inventory continues to be a problem within the market, as total available properties for sale fell by 7.2% from 2017 levels nationwide.

According to the National Association of Realtors, unsold inventory is at 3.6 month supply level.

Additionally, higher interest rates are impacting the buyer market driving the cost of owning a home even higher.

According to the National Association of Realtors, properties placed on the market stay there for 30 days in March, which is down from 37 days in February and 34 days from a year ago. According to the same report nearly 50% of homes sold in March on the market for less than a month. This shows a ferocious fire appetite for properties. The other factor , often not mentioned, is that sellers are having a hard time finding a place to move to once their buyer agrees to their price.

Buyers continue to eat away at supply, leaving some markets like Seattle and San Francisco at record lows for available inventory.

First-time home buyers are still comprise 30% of all sales in March, which is slightly up from February 2018, but then slightly lower than the 32% registered in 2017.

Even all cash sales came in at just 20% of all transactions in March 2018. This figure is 4% less than those cash transactions completed in February which accounted for 24%.

Distressed sales came in at just 4% of total sales in March 2018.

Demand in the Northeast jumped by 6.3% to an annual rate of 680,000 units but it’s still 9.3% below the number of sales in 2017. The median price in the Northeast was $270,600, which is 3.3% above March of 2017.

 If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.
Counsellors Title Agency,, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

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