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Spring Thaw Homebuyer Demand Picks Up in March

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Tours Up 11.1% from February; Offers Increase 19.7%

After a sluggish start to 2014, homebuyer demand is starting to bounce back, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage, which today issued its Real-Time Demand Pulse, the only report in the industry that analyzes housing market demand based on home tour and offer data. Between February and March, the number of Redfin customers touring homes rose 11.1 percent, the biggest March gain since 2011. The Redfin clients signing offers grew..

According to Redfin’s latest Real-Time Demand Pulse—a monthly analysis of tour and offer activity across 23 U.S. markets—homebuyer demand bounced back in March, showing promise after months of little activity.

Compared to February, Redfin reports the number of customers touring homes rose 11.1 percent, the biggest March gain in three years and a massive step up from the meager 1.9 percent increase recorded in February.

Meanwhile, the number of customers signing offers rose 19.7 percent, up from a 17.8 percent increase in February but a bit short of last year’s 21.5 percent gain.

While the pickup in buyer interest bodes well for the spring and summer seasons, Redfin analyst Ellen Haberle noted there are a few factors to consider in March’s improvement: “We should take this boost in demand with a grain of salt ... since this year’s March numbers weren’t affected by the Easter holiday, as they were last year.”

“Additionally,” Haberle continued, “demand in February was very weak this year, making March look even rosier.”

Still, with for-sale homes in short supply and the market reheating, Redfin agents predict another competitive house shopping season ahead, where buyers will have to move quickly.

“Now that spring demand is heating up, serious buyers need flexible schedules,” said Tom Lewis, a Redfin agent working in Washington, D.C., one of the company’s fastest-moving markets. “In many cases, waiting until the weekend means missing your shot at your dream home.”

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