The spring season usually starts shaping up in March and goes until June, but this year thanks to unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the United States it may have started early. Spring is the litmus test for the overall housing demand. Last year, as everyone knows, was not great (to say the least) for existing home sale. Good news is this year looks much better. Current home sales in February were up 9% from last year, and the Pending Home Sale Index was up as well. Also, according to a late February NAR survey of 4,300 agents, Realtors’ confidence in the single-family home market is definitely shaping up. Economist Paul Dales of Capital Economics says this spring season should be “the best we have seen in the past four or five years.”
Of course not every market will move in unison, and spring sales will be a great indication of which markets are improving, and which are still declining. Veros Real Estate Solutions forecasts that home prices overall will drop less than 1%, but 40% of 321 metropolitan areas will see prices rise. Phoenix is at the top of that list, and will see a 5% price gain this year. Denver is also seeing rising prices as their supply of homes is dropping as well.
Some homeowners who are in a comfortable situation are still reluctant to put their home on the market, but not all of them. In Central Pennsylvania residents saw a 30% increase in new listings early this year, and the trend has continued into spring. This spring has great potential to be a very good season for the housing market.