Abnormally cold weather combined with an early Easter holiday dampened U.S. housing demand in March, according to a Redfin report Tuesday.
The Redfin Housing Demand Index, on the analysis of buyers’ housing tours and offers made in 15 metro areas, fell 3.8% to 105 year-over-year in March. Compared to February, the index declined 6.5%.
A reading of 100 represents a three-year average for the period from January 2013 to December 2015, which Redfin uses as a benchmark.
Despite persistently strong demand, sellers were more reluctant to put their houses on the market in the face of harsh weather and the Easter holiday, which worsened the shortage of inventory, according to Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin.
At metro level, Denver and Washington D.C. saw the sharpest decline in housing demands, with their indices both falling 57. On the other hand, Atlanta, Georgia, had the biggest increase, rising from 128 to 155.
|Housing Demand Index for Selective Metros|
|Los Angeles, CA||96||-27|
|Orange County, CA||137||+26|
“Abnormally late winter weather and an early Easter likely delayed homeowners planning to list their homes for sale in March,” Ms. Richardson said in the report.
Across the 15 metros Redfin tracks, the number of homes for sale fell 13.6% year-over-year in March, the 34th consecutive month of falling housing supply.
However, the number of buyers requesting tours actually increased 6.2% year-over-year, while the number making offers fell 17.1%, suggesting that potential buyers were still actively shopping around but were deterred by limited options.
On a monthly basis, the number of buyers requesting home tours increased 2.6% in March compared to February, while the number of buyers making offers fell 14.7%, according to the report.
The report doesn’t break down luxury data.
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