Asking prices of newly-listed homes hit a new all-time record of $330,225, up 10% from the same time a year ago, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. In a typical year asking prices do not pass the previous year’s peak until March. This early spike in asking prices suggests that this coming spring will see stronger price growth than is typical this time of year.

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Below are other key housing market takeaways for more than 400 U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending January 31.

• The median home sale price increased 15% year over year to $318,250.

• New listings of homes for sale were down 12% from a year earlier—the largest decline since May.

• Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 36% from 2020 to a new all-time low.

• 48% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, well above the 39% rate during the same period a year ago. This marks a new high for the four-week average of this measure since at least 2012 (as far back as Redfin’s data for this measure goes).

• The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, increased slightly to 99.3%—1.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

• For the week ending January 31, the seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for home tours and other services from Redfin agents—was up 72% from the same period a year ago.

• Mortgage purchase applications increased 0.1% week over week (seasonally-adjusted) and were up 16% from a year earlier (unadjusted) during the week ending January 29. For the week ending January 28, 30-year mortgage rates were unchanged at 2.73%.

“With more and more homes going off the market before buyers have had a chance to tour them, it has never been more important for homebuyers to be well prepared,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “That means setting alerts to let you know immediately when homes hit the market and going to see them ASAP or having a plan in place with your agent to make an offer sight-unseen. Buyers with flexibility on timing and location may also want to consider new construction, which made up 22% of homes for sale in December—the highest share on record. An advantage of homes sold by builders is that typically the price is the price, and they are sold on a first come, first served basis. So while you still need to be prepared to act quickly when a new-construction home becomes available, you don’t have to worry so much about competing in a bidding war with escalating prices.”

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