Spring 2013 Home Buying Season Begins Early

Home prices are on the rise, the number of homes for sale is showing a slight increase, and homes are selling faster — all signs that spring is in the air in the real estate market, according to the latest MLS data released by realtor.com. Nationwide, median list prices continue to tick up, reaching $189,900 last month.

Inventories in February increased 1.15 percent month-over-month, after recently hitting record lows. Also, homes are selling faster with the median age of inventory at 98 days, which is a 9.26 percent drop from the month before. As we enter the busiest time of year for home buyers and sellers, the latest housing trend shows how competitive the market is with a significant housing recovery well underway, said one realtor. Looking ahead, we can expect the amount of inventory to increase this spring along with higher list prices as sellers become more comfortable with the market conditions, he added.

Median list prices were up 5 percent or higher in 51 markets on a year-over-year basis, according to realtor.com. California markets are seeing some of the highest increases in list prices along with some of the largest declines in for-sale inventory.

Other top performing markets include Denver, Phoenix and Seattle, according to realtor.com. However, many smaller markets in the Midwest and the Northeast registered year-over-year price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City, said Lexie Puckett from realtor.com. While the number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines had been increasing, this pattern appears to be turning around as home list prices increased in 78 markets last month on a year-over-year basis and declined in 39, she added.

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