Boone County remains a seller's market for housing, with low inventory and increasing prices going into the late spring, the Columbia Board of Realtors reports.
About 9% fewer homes were sold in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
Prices, meanwhile, have increased 12%.
"Prices continue to escalate even with a drop in sales due to inventory levels," the Board of Realtors said in a news release.
Rising mortgage rates could deter buyers on the market in the coming months, however.
Less than one month's worth of inventory was available to sell in March, with available homes spending an average of 24 days on the market. This is down from an average of 27 market days in February. March 2021 saw an average of 44 days.
Average home sale prices in the county were about $323,000 in March, a 13% increase from March 2021, the Board of Realtors said.
Homes priced between $250,000 and $299,000 in March spent an average of zero days on the market, selling the same day as they were listed.
The market's sweet spot has been about two weeks of available housing inventory sold between $300,000 and $349,000, noted Brian Toohey, Columbia Board of Realtors CEO, in the release.
Ideally, the spring market would have five to seven months' worth of inventory, he said.
The most competitive price range — $150,000 to $249,000 — has the least amount of housing supply.
The number of single-family homes overall sold in March (170) was down when compared to the same month last year (197).
March has averaged 176 sales over the past 10 years, the Board of Realtors said.
"A decline in sold units isn't a surprise," Toohey wrote. "The number of pending listings (homes under contract) for January and February prognosticated a drop in sold listings for March."
Interest rates hit 5% on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages last week, compared to about 3.76% at the beginning of March. The last time mortgage rates hit 5% was in 2011.
There is a chance for a further sales slow-down leading into late spring. Mortgage applications were down 5% adjusted for the season from last week as of Wednesday, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“Ongoing concerns about rapid inflation and tighter U.S. monetary policy continued to push Treasury yields higher, driving mortgage rates to their highest level in over a decade," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "In a housing market facing affordability challenges and low inventory, higher rates are causing a pullback or delay in home purchase.
"Home purchase activity has been volatile in recent weeks and has yet to see the typical pick-up for this time of the year."
Charles Dunlap covers courts, public safety and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com, or CD_CDT on Twitter. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Columbia real estate: Number of sales down in 2022, prices up 12%