The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) distributes a monthly summary of real estate activity. Here’s the latest NAR “Monthly Minute” for March 2019.

Existing home sales climbed a hefty +11.8% in February 2019, the largest such increase since December 2015. Prices for existing homes increased +3.6% and DOM rose to 46. The number of sales decreased by -1.8% from one year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said, “A powerful combination of lower mortgage interest rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving this sales rebound.”

The median price for ALL housing types in February 2019 hit $249,500, an increase of +3.6% from February 2018. February 2019 represented the 84th consecutive month of y/y price gains. Inventory for ALL housing types increased +3.2% from one year ago; unsold inventory represented a 3.5-month supply, down from 3.9 months in January 2019 but up from the 3.4 monthly supply compared with one year ago. Average Days on the Market came in at 44 days in February 2019.

Yun continued, “It’s very welcoming to see more inventory showing up in the market. Consumer foot traffic is consequentially rising as measured by the opening rate of SentriLock key boxes.”

Nation-wide, single-family home sales in February 2019 increased +4.36% compared with sales in February 2018. The median price for single-family homes nation-wide was $251,400, an increase of +3.6% compared to one year ago.

Condominium/co-op sales were unchanged for February 2019 compared with one month before but were down -5.0% compared with one year ago. The median price for condos/co-ops was $233,300 in February 2019, an increase of +3.1% from one year ago.

Regionally, existing home sales looked like this:

  • Northeast
    • Sales volume in 2/19 identical to volume in 1/19
    • Median price – $272,900, +3.8% from 2/18
  • Midwest
    • Sales volume increased +9.5% from 1/19; even to 2/18 levels
    • Median price – $188,000, +5.4% from 2/18
  • South
    • Sales volume increased +14.9% from 2/18
    • Median price – $219,300, increase of +2.5% from 2/18
  • West
    • Sales volume exploded +16.0% in 2/19 but still down -7.9% from 2/18
    • Median price – $379,300, an increase of +3.0% from 2/18 also released its Market Hotness Index in conjunction with its “Monthly Minute.” This Index listed Midland TX, Chico CA, Colorado Springs CO, Spokane-Spokane Valley WA and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward as 2019’s hottest markets.

Lastly, NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in late 2018, indicated the composition of buyers as being…

  • first time buyers – 33%
  • all cash buyers – 23%
  • individual investors – 16%