A few key points:
1) This was the highest sales rate for March since 2006, and the 4th highest sales rate for March on record (behind 2004, 2005, and 2006). Some of the increase over the last nine months was probably related to record low mortgage rates, a move away from multi-family rentals, strong second home buying (to escape the high-density cities), a strong stock market and favorable demographics.
“As I’ve noted before, the inventory measure in most publicly-released local realtor/MLS reports excludes listings with pending contracts, but that is not the case for many of the reports sent to the NAR (referred to as the “NAR Report!”), Since the middle of last Spring inventory measures excluding pending listings have fallen much more sharply than inventory measures including such listings, and this latter inventory measure understates the decline in the effective inventory of homes for sale over the last several months.”
Months-of-supply at 2.1 months is just above the record low of 1.9 months set in December 2020 and January 2021. Inventory will be important to watch in 2021, see: Some thoughts on Housing Inventory
This graph shows existing home sales by month for 2020 and 2021.
The year-over-year comparisons will be easy in Q2, and then difficult in the second half of the year.
The second graph shows existing home sales for each month, Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), since 2005.
This was the highest sales for March (NSA) since 2006.