U.S. real estate makes gains in sales, prices

But transactions were still down 8.2% compared to a year earlier, and the median sales price this March of $177,001 was 8.2% lower than in March 2010 when it was $192,833. Transactions were also down 8.2% year-over-year.

Still, Re/Max CEO Margaret Kelly focused on the positives in the report, noting the sales figures had beat expectations for March. And while 35 of 54 cities in March saw double-digit percentage price growth, it was only a few months earlier in January when only three of the 54 saw month-over-month price growth.

“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,” Kelly said. “If sales continue at this pace into the traditional spring and summer buying season, we would expect to see prices follow as well.”

San Francisco had the highest price growth in March, up 13.3% over February. That was the lone double-digit rise among the 35 markets with gains, however.

A troubling sign for sellers in the U.S. is that the average days on market hit 104, marking six straight months that the figure was above 90. Inventory took a dive, however, slipping 23% in March from February from 7.1 months of supply from 9.3 months.

The Re/Max report noted a supply of six months is more typical of a balanced market.

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