new survey shows strong first quarter house sales, providing hope to home builders
A buoyant housing market appears to be contradicting reports of a recessionary economy, according to a new survey just released by the National Association of Realtors.
The Chicago-based group in its latest quarterly report shows that home prices increased by 7.7 percent in the quarter ending on the last day of March, compared with the same period a year ago.
The average home price now stands at $274,600, with double-digit increases particularly noted in Western cities.
One of the largest increases was seen in Colorado Springs, where the average home price at $339,000 was up by 14.4 percent over the first quarter of 2019.
Overall, home prices saw increases in 96 percent of the metro markets surveyed by the NAR.
The report showed an 11.4 percent increase in the Albuquerque market, with the median home price at $231,000.
A second New Mexico metro market saw a 3.8 percent increase: Farmington, with an average house price of $185,000.
In El Paso, the market had improved by 6 percent over early 2019, for an average home price of $166,700.
Phoenix, meanwhile, saw an 11.8 percent increase with an average price of nearly $309,000. The Tucson market was only marginally less resilient, with an increase of 7.5 percent, and an average price of $248,100.
Metro markets in Colorado, which have been at or above the national average in surveys conducted over the last two to three years, showed Denver’s prices up by 6.1 percent, with an average price of $473,800.
Boulder’s increase was smaller at 3.1 percent, but with a higher average price of $622,000.
Although the survey takes in only the first month of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent national economic shutdown, Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said, “Due to very limited listings, home prices are showing no signs of buckling.”
Even during the final month of the survey, sales prices rose 8% over March of 2019.
In a statement, Yun said, “Supply is extremely limited, and there are simply not as many homes for sale to meet the demand among potential buyers.”
Yun added, in a thought encouraging to home builders, that “more supply and more listings are needed to provide a faster recovery for the economy.”
By Garry Boulard
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