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National Real Estate Summary
National Real Estate Summary
Presented by HouseHunt Inc

Publish Date: May 17th, 2017

2017 1st Quarter Market Report: Home Sales Start Strong in 2017

The 1st quarter of 2017 ended on a strong note with March existing home sales reaching its highest pace in 10 years despite low inventories of homes for sale.

The most notable change in the 1st quarter was another huge increase in markets where there were more buyers than sellers resulting in quick sales and low inventory. Our survey showed that in 73% of the markets surveyed there were more buyers than sellers, an increase of 15% over the 4rd quarter and an increase of 13% over the 1st quarter of 2016. Additionally, 80% of our markets survey showed a tight supply of homes, an increase of 10% over last quarter and 13% over last year. Home prices are also on the rise with 92% of markets showing price appreciation in the last year.

According the National association of Realtors (NAR) existing home sales in March were up 5.9% over last year; inventory of unsold homes is at a 3.8 month supply and 48% of all homes sold in under one month. That is a strong sellers market.

The data in this report is generated primarily from our survey of HouseHunt.com exclusive member real estate agents across the United States. This grass roots approach to studying the housing market gives us a thorough look at where the real estate market is through the eyes and perspective of the local real estate agents who are living and working in the trenches of each community.

Buyer and Seller Activity
The trend in both buyer and seller activity is up slightly in the 1st quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter. Buyer activity increased in 74% of the markets surveyed and decreased in 14% of the markets surveyed indicating a significant 8% increase since the 4th quarter o f 2016 and a 1% decline in activity from Spring 2016. Simultaneously, the trend for seller activity continued to increase in the 1st quarter with 45% of the markets indicating increased seller activity compared to 42% of the markets in the 4th quarter of 2016 and 40% of the markets this time last year. Despite increased seller activity there are still more buyers than sellers and homes are selling quickly.

This quarter we have 73% of our markets stating they have more buyers than sellers compared to 58% last quarter and 60% in the 1st quarter of 2016. As a result, the average time on the market has decreased in 60% of the markets surveyed, representing an increase of 4% over the 4th quarter of 2016. According to NAR, the inventory of homes for sale at the end March 2017 is only a 3.8 month supply nationwide. A balanced "normal market" is a six month supply of homes available for sale.

Home Inventory
Home inventories continue to be very tight with our survey showing that 80% of the markets are reporting tight to very tight inventory which is an increase of 10% over last quarter and 13% of last year.. Conversely, only 20% of the markets are showing a good supply of homes. Average days on the market has also declined. In 63% of the markets surveyed, homes are selling in under 60 days compared to 59% last quarter.

Homeowners are receiving over 95% of asking price in 69% of the markets surveyed; which is a decrease from 73% in the 4th quarter. Homes that are priced correctly and in good condition are selling quickly, while over priced homes tend to stay on the market longer.

Home foreclosures continue to remain at normal levels with 94% of our real estate agents reporting that foreclosures made up less than 15% of the inventory in their community. This is consistent with NAR's report that distressed sales represent only 6% of all sales. Foreclosures and distressed properties are not having a major impact in the real estate markets.

In Conclusion
Many of the factors that have been prevalent in the housing market for the last few years are still in play, including low inventory levels, more buyers than sellers, and low interest rates. Add to that renewed optimism regarding the economy, a better labor market and a strong stock market indicates 2017 should be a very robust year for home sales.

2016 was a great year for the housing market with 5.45 million housing units sold the highest number since 2006 and an increase of the median home price of 4%. The 1st quarter of 2017 is adding to the housing gains with March 2017, the adjusted annual rate of sales is 5.71 million homes. Home prices for 2017 are expected to increase by 4%.

(HouseHunt, Inc. is a consumer-oriented Internet firm that provides free information and services to homeowners, home buyers and home sellers in 48 states through its member agents and through its primary website, HouseHunt.com.)

HouseHunt's Quarterly Comparison Chart For the U.S. | 1st Quarter 2017 Results in Red
Buyer-Seller Ratio
More Buyers50%61%64%56%48%60%63%54%58%73%
More Sellers26%15%20%24%24%24%19%27%24%9%
About Even24%24%16%20%28%16%18%19%18%18%
Average Time On Market
0-60 Days56%55%70%69%65%67%53%64%59%63%
Sold in 60 Days Plus44%45%30%31%35%33%47%36%41%37%
Unsold Inventory
Good Supply44%26%26%31%33%33%34%30%30%20%
Tight Supply56%74%74%69%67%67%66%70%70%80%
Annual Price Appreciation
Up 0-5%26%25%26%26%30%36%34%24%27%24%
Up 5-10%27%35%33%44%36%35%32%34%36%39%
Up 10% Plus36%27%32%20%24%24%27%23%23%29%
Negative Appreciation8%7%4%4%4%5%2%14%9%5%
Buyer Activity
Repeat / Move UP / Investors76%82%75%79%84%85%81%82%81%74%
First-time Buyers24%18%25%21%16%15%19%18%19%26%
Ask vs. Sale Price
Less Than 95%28%29%26%25%23%22%22%17%28%31%
More Than 95%72%71%74%75%77%78%78%83%72%69%
Multiple Offers?
Short Sales / Foreclosures
Less than 15% of the market85%86%84%86%87%89%93%95%95%94%
More than 15% of the market15%14%16%14%13%11%7%5%5%6%
Buyer Activity
No change19%15%12%20%13%15%13%18%19%12%
Seller Activity
No change26%29%26%24%29%36%32%38%36%30%
Average Time on Market Trend
No change16%21%16%21%21%27%22%17%18%14%
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