A majority of homes selling above asking price

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As the coronavirus real estate boom rages on, new data shows just how aggressively Americans are bidding for homes. In a handful of states, more than half of homes sold in March traded for more than their listing price.

In California and Colorado, fully 60 percent of homes sold last month fetched more than their asking price, according to research by the National Association of Realtors. In Oregon and Washington, 56 percent of properties topped their list price. And in Massachusetts and Utah, 54 percent of home sales topped the asking amount.

“This is amazing, incredible,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Demand is so strong that buyers are saying, ‘List price is just a beginning.’”

Louisiana had the lowest share of homes selling for more than list price, but even there 19 percent of homes topped that mark.

The stats reflect a combination of intense demand and short supply. California already had set a record for share of homes selling over listing price in February, at 56 percent, says Oscar Wei, senior economist at the California Association of Realtors.

“We’re not even in the spring selling season yet,” Wei says.

He can only guess how intense competition will become as the state reaches its traditional peak of home-buying activity in April and May.

In Colorado, another state where most homes sold for more than the asking price, the inventory of homes on for sale represents just a few weeks of supply. That’s well below the six months of supply considered a balanced market.

“There’s a lot of demand, and with interest rates remaining low, there’s a lot of people realizing they don’t want to stay in their existing homes,” says Robert Walkowicz, chairman of the Colorado Association of Realtors and an agent in Fort Collins. “A lot of people are realizing they’re going to be working from home indefinitely.”

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