April 19, 2011: March home sales increased by double-digits from a month earlier in nearly all U.S. metropolitan areas, according to the RE/MAX National Housing report released Tuesday. That’s an encouraging sign for the housing market as it enters spring buying season.
Home sales are down 8.2% nationally from March 2010. In the hard-hit markets of Tampa, Phoenix and Las Vegas home sales increased 19.8%, 13.5% and 8.5% in March.
In Las Vegas, the median price hasn’t been that low since it was $104,300 in 1990, SalesTraq President Larry Murphy said. Murphy said a $108,000 home today would be worth less than $59,000 in 1990 when including 3 percent annual inflation.
In Las Vegas “We aren’t even factoring in cost-of-living increase,” Murphy said. “That’s like values are at a 50-year low. It just shows how undervalued we are right now.”
“It’s encouraging that home sales are rising at a faster pace than we would normally see this time of year, and they’re doing so without any artificial stimulus,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. “If sales continue at this pace into the traditional spring and summer buying season, we would expect to see prices follow as well.”
Freddie Mac said in its recent economic outlook that the market is poised for a strong spring buying season. The government-sponsored enterprise is anticipating a 5% increase in annual home sales this year to a projected 4.9 million sales.