According to the National Association of Realtors, March’s existing-home sales came in at 6.01 million. Because March 2020 sales were slightly weaker due to the start of COVID-19, the year-over-year growth in sales for March 2021 came in at 12.3%. For the housing market, the COVID crisis started in earnest the week of March 23, as that is the last week we saw positive year-over-year data in 2020 before COVID-19 really took us for a ride.
So take this year-over-year demand data with a grain of salt. Next month will have a much bigger year-over-year growth sales print. Likewise, later in the year, we can expect to see some significant negative year-over-year prints, because 2021 is being compared to months of make-up demand.
My biggest fear for the U.S. housing market has been that home prices could escalate to an unhealthy level in the years 2020-2024. You may recall that I repeatedly warned that this could happen and this is now happening. We now have what I would consider to be the unhealthiest housing market in the last 10 years. According to the current NAR data, the median sales price jumped 17.2% year over year. Holy Hot Home Price Growth Batman!