The February 2019 Housing Market Recap shows existing home sales grew dramatically in February, marking the biggest month-over-month increase since December 2015. All regions except the Northeast saw an increase in sales, and prices continued to climb nationwide. The pace of sales was faster than it was in January, but slower than a year ago. Inventory increased both month-over-month and year-over-year, continuing a slow but positive trend for buyers.
February existing home sales rose 11.8 percent from January, although they were still 1.8 percent lower than February 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) February Existing Home Sales Report, released March 22nd.
Inventory increased from January to February, as well as year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 3.5 months, up from 3.4 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in February was $249,500, an increase of 3.6 percent from February 2018 ($240,800). We’ve now reached 84 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were down from January, moving from 49 to 44. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 37 days, so while the sales pace increased month-over-month, it was slower year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “For sustained growth, significant construction of moderately priced-homes is still needed. More construction will help boost local economies and more home sales will help lessen wealth inequality as more households can enjoy in housing wealth gains.”
Regions: Sales up everywhere but the Northeast. The Northeast was the only region where sales did not increase. Comparing February to January, sales shot up 16 percent in the West, 14.9 percent in the South, and 9.5 percent in the Midwest, while the Northeast was flat. The Midwest led year-over-year price increases at 5.4 percent, followed by the Northeast at 3.8 percent, the West at 3.0 percent, and the South at 2.5 percent. Midland, TX took the top spot again on the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the February Top 10 were Chico, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade CA, Yuba City, CA, Rochester, NY, Columbus, OH, and Stockton-Lodi, CA. Rochester and Stockton-Lodi joined the Top 10 in February.
The spring buying season is here. Traditionally, warmer weather and a hotter housing market go hand-in-hand. If you’re planning to buy this year, get started now on your home loan. Fast markets mean fast sales, and the strongest offers include financing. In fact, most Realtors® will insist that you line up your financing first. Talk to a First Choice Loan Services Inc. mortgage loan originator now to understand your loan options. Start your home buying journey today!