Man and woman holding cardboard boxes as they're moving into a new apartment.
Man and woman holding cardboard boxes as they're moving into a new apartment.

Coming into the year, tight inventory and resulting price appreciation were considered two of housing biggest headwinds. Zillow's first quarter market report didn't allay any of those fears, according to Zillow's Svenja Gudell.

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • There are 5.9 percent fewer homes for sale in the U.S. than there were a year ago.
  • There are 10.4 percent fewer entry-level homes for sale in the U.S. than there were a year ago.
  • Low supply is driving up home prices among entry-level homes, which are often sought after by first-time buyers.

This isn't good news for first-time buyers.

Faced with rapidly appreciating home values and a dwindling inventory of homes for sale in the critical entry-level and mid-market home segments, first-time and move-up home buyers – typically the housing market’s bread-and-butter – are likely in store for a tough spring home shopping season.

Nationwide, median home values rose 4.8 percent year-over-year in March and 1.1 percent over the course of the first quarter, to a Zillow Home Value Index of $186,200, according to the first quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Report. And while overall U.S. home values continue to grow at a modest (though slowly accelerating) clip, home values are rising the fastest among entry-level and mid-market homes in a large majority of the nation’s biggest housing markets.

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