March sees surge in home prices, small change in sale numbers

As reported in Redfin's latest Real-Time Price Tracker, home prices last month appreciated by 6 percent since February and rose by 15 percent year-over-year from March 2012.

Homeowners looking to sell their house this year may become increasingly happy each time they check their public property records.

As reported in Redfin's latest Real-Time Price Tracker, home prices last month appreciated 6 percent since February and rose 15 percent year-over-year from March 2012. In addition, recent home sale totals jumped one-quarter on a monthly basis and nearly 1 percent annually. The number of homes for sale during March remained largely unchanged month-over-month, but showed a drop of 31 percent on a year-over-year basis. The percentage of listings put under agreement within the first two weeks of their listing inched up to almost 35 percent, marking the highest point ever observed on record.

The online real estate broker detailed widespread improvement of the housing market in Portland, Oregon, which saw a considerable change in single-family home sales on both monthly and yearly bases. A total of 2,358 sales were recorded last month, which was a more than 19 percent increase over the March 2012 amount and more than 38 percent over February figures.

San Francisco reportedly logged the largest change in housing prices, both year-over-year and month-over-month. Compared to March 2012, recent prices were almost 32 percent higher, and recorded a hike of nearly 24 percent since February.

Consumer confidence shows small slip in March
Because home buyers were faced with higher prices in recent months, many may have been exhibiting concern regarding the safety and soundness of their finances. The latest Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which measure economic indicators including real wages, initial unemployment claims, tax burden and real home prices, showed a monthly decline in March, from 4.37 to 4.12.

However, although a slight decrease was seen, citizens may be able to look forward to better times ahead. Patricia Buckley, director, economic policy and analysis of Deloitte Services said the index may be stabilizing and the economy may see growth this year.

"The drastic ups and downs among factors including wages, home prices and unemployment claims have subsided, delivering more stability to the Index, which remains at a level consistent with real personal consumption growth of around 2 percent at an annual rate," she said. "Rising real home prices and small but steady consumer spending increases are among factors suggesting the country may be poised for growth this year, should the economy avoid negative impacts from Europe's financial troubles or the debt ceiling debate this summer."

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