Due to an increase in new listings, the first quarter of 2022 saw record high sales activity.
In comparison to the previous quarter, when sales outnumbered new listings, this gave buyers more options. Although the number of new listings increased, it was insufficient to add significant supply to the market. Inventory levels fell by 30% in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to long-term trends, resulting in the lowest quarterly inventory level since 2014. "In the first quarter, record sales combined with low inventory levels resulted in months of supply averaging just over one month," said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"We haven't seen conditions this tight since 2006, which was also the last time we saw price increases of more than 15%." In the first quarter of 2022, the persistent sellers' market conditions weighed on prices. The total residential benchmark price averaged $496,767, owing to strong gains in the detached sector of the market.
This represents a nearly 8% quarterly increase and a nearly 15% year-over-year increase. While strong sales were expected in the first quarter, demand continued to outperform forecasts. "Expectations of rising rates and further price increases are likely to push consumers into the market as soon as possible," Lurie said. "However, a lack of choice in recent quarters has created a demand spike that can only be met as supply levels improve." While the economy will continue to support housing demand, the rate of sales is expected to slow later this year.
This will eventually aid the market's transition to more balanced conditions, reducing price pressure.
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