After signs of a slight slowdown in late 2018, US house prices soared to their highest ever in March. According to figures released by Realtor.com, the cost of homes on the US property market hit a median of US$300,000, an increase of 7% in the year.
The historic high reached in March brings US house prices to yet another record. The 7% rise seen across the nation came despite increases in inventory and heralds steady price gains for this year. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, said that the US real estate portal expects “steady price growth to continue in 2019”.
Record prices for condos
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reported strong increases for US house prices this year. Their latest figures (February 2019) point to a rise of 3.6% for prices for single-family homes, bringing their median to US$251,400, slightly below the Realtor.com figure.
However, according to NAR median prices for condos in the US stand considerably higher. Their statistics point to a median price of US$534,140 for this type of property on the US market.
Supply levels rise
Median prices hit their highest ever despite the increases in inventory. Supply went up by 4% nationally in the year to March. In the 50 largest metros, the rise was even bigger – they saw supply go up by 9% over the 12 months. The figure climbs higher still in homes in the most expensive price brackets – inventory levels for US properties priced in excess of US$750,000 saw an increase in 11%.
However, it isn’t all good news for supply. Realtor.com reports that inventory for houses at entry level (priced below US$200,000) saw supply levels plummet by 9% in the year to March. This confirms the trend of high demand and low supply for cheaper homes, also experiencing strong price hikes.
In tandem with the sharp rise in US house prices come quicker sales. The number of days spent on the market dropped considerably in several metro areas. This confirms the continued high demand for property in most of the US.
Florida prices rise too
In common with the rest of the US, Florida too experienced house price rises in March. Florida Realtors highlight the fact that the state saw its 87th consecutive monthly price increase, consolidating the trend of market recovery.
Specifically, prices for single-family homes in Florida went up by 2% in the year to March to reach a median of US$256,000. The increase was higher for condo and townhouse properties in Florida, which went up by 3.6%. This brings their median to US$189,500.
Florida pending sales highest ever
While US house prices broke records in March, in Florida it was pending sales that registered their highest ever. The Sunshine State had a total of 31,383 pending sales of single-family homes, up 2.6% in the year.
Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor pointed out that while “March is typically a busy month for real estate in Florida,” the figure for the month this year was the highest “in any month across the previous 11 years in which we have tracked this statistic”.
(Sources: Forbes, Florida Realtors)