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08

Capital Area Real Estate Market in Transition

    SPRINGFIELD (April 8, 2014)   Unit home sales for single-family homes decreased while the median home sale price increased in the Capital Area during March 2014, according to the Capital Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR).

For the month of March 2014 there were a total of 229 homes sold as compared to 264 homes sold in March 2013, reflecting a decrease of 13.3 percent.   Year-to-date homes sales through March of 2014 totaled 617, reflecting a 10.8 percent decrease from the 692 sales during the same time in 2013.

We still see some lingering effects of our harsh winter showing up in our March home sale numbers,” said REALTOR® Steve Myers, president of the Capital Area Association of REALTORS.

According to CAAR, the median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $102,400, reflecting an increase of 10.1 percent over the March  2013 price of $93,000.   The year-to-date median sale price through March of 2014 was $99,000, reflecting a decrease of 3.1 percent from the $102,200 price during same period in 2013.  The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Total housing inventory at the end of March 2014 increased to 1,474 listings, up from the 1,442 listings in the prior month and down from the 1,628 listings at the end  of March 2013.   The 1,474 listings available at the end of March 2014 represent a 4.8 month supply at the current 12 month average sales pace, up from 4.5 months in February.   “We have been in a fairly balanced market, however, with low inventory coupled with anticipated pent-up demand we may see ourselves tilting toward a seller's market said Myers.

This means that buyers should expect competition.  Multiple offers are back and homes with the best pricing in the best condition and in the best location go first.

The 32 foreclosure sales in March of 2014, 13.9 percent of all sales as compared to 69 foreclosure sales during the prior March, representing 26.1 percent of March 2013 sales.  “Over the past few months we have begun to see a decreased emphasis of foreclosure sales.  We hope that this means we have seen the bulk of these properties and are headed toward a more balanced market, said Myers.

The average cumulative days on market for all home sales was 128 in March 2014, up from the 123 days in the prior month and 108 days in March of 2013.

There were 372 sale pendings in March 2014, down 4.0 percent from the 387 sale pendings during the same time last year.

Myers also says “buyers who want to be counted in that sale pending count should be ready!  Its more important than ever to be pre-qualified so that you are ready to write an offer at any time.

An offer with a pre-qualification letter looks stronger and has a better chance of getting accepted. Prioritize, said Myers.   For more tactics on finding your next home in a Seller's market talk to your REALTOR, said Myers.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported that the national average commitment rate for 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgages was 4.34 percent in March 2014, up from the 3.57 average rate during March of 2013.   

The Capital Area Association of REALTORS® is the Voice for Real Estate in the Capital Area representing more than 750 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. The Capital Area's Resource for Real Estate Information can be found at www.SeeHouses.com.

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