At a glance: Many challenges for homebuyers this spring | Business

While demand for homes remained strong, market conditions slowed the pace of sales nationwide compared to a year ago. Below are some facts and figures that show what potential buyers are up against.

According to the National Association of Realtors, just 870,000 homes were on the market at the end of February, just above the record high reached a month earlier. This equates to a 1.7 month supply.

Despite the slowdown in sales, the imbalance between supply and demand drove prices up. The median U.S. home price jumped 15% in February from a year earlier to $357,300, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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Buyers are expected to not only provide a large down payment, say 5% to 10% at least, but also cash to cover a ‘home valuation gap’. This has become more common as bidding wars drive the sale price of a home above its appraised value.

An average of 16% of homes sold in January and February for more than their appraised value, according to CoreLogic. The average for the whole of last year was 15%, compared to 9.5% in 2020. The historical norm is 7%.

The average rate on a 30-year home loan has climbed to around 4.7% from just over 3% a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. In addition to raising costs for homebuyers, higher home loan rates may also deter some homeowners from selling, especially if they bought or refinanced their home when mortgage rates hit new lows early in the year. Last year.