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RE/MAX: February Home Sales Rose 1st Time In 6 Months

David Krechevsky
Mar 20, 2023
The inventory of homes for sale grew on 1.2 percent year-over-year basis, according to new data from Zillow

Housing inventory levels increased year over year for the 10th consecutive month.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The nearly 17% jump was the largest month-over-month increase in 11 months.
  • The median sales price increased from January to 0.6% to $385,000, ending a seven-month streak of price declines.

While they remain down 24.4% year over year, home sales in February increased 16.8% from January, according to a monthly report from RE/MAX. 

The national real estate company said the nearly 17% jump was the largest month-over-month increase in 11 months and ended a five-month streak of declines that began in September.

In addition, the median sales price increased 0.6% from January to $385,000, ending a seven-month streak of price declines since hitting a peak of $426,000 in June 2022, RE/MAX said. 

Although home prices increased slightly month over month, February marked the first year-over-year drop in prices since January 2012 — the median was 1.3% lower than a year ago ($390,000).

While home sales and prices broke streaks, inventory levels increased year over year for the 10th consecutive month, and the number of homes for sale in the report's 50 metro areas was 55% higher than a year ago, RE/MAX said.

"Prices have steadied, and demand is strong, but the lack of available, affordable homes remains a challenge," said Nick Bailey, RE/MAX president and CEO. "Mortgage rates are top of mind for many buyers, and as they move up or down, sales activity should generally follow suit. That's a big factor to watch as we move into the spring."

Laurie Thiel, broker/owner of RE/MAX Equity Group in Beaverton, Ore., is seeing an uptick in demand and activity in her area. 

"As the market has stabilized, our agents are experiencing increased activity with homebuyers and sellers,” Thiel said. “Even though the time to sell a home has increased, inventory in the Portland metropolitan market remains limited."

Other Notable Metrics

  • Months' supply of inventory in February was 1.7, down from 2 months in January but well above last February's 1.
  • February's average close-to-list price ratio was 98%, meaning that, on average, homes sold for 2% less than the asking price. In January, the ratio was 97%.
  • Homes sold in February were on the market for an average of 45 days — three days less than in January but two weeks longer than a year ago.

Local Market Metrics

  • Closed Transactions: The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were Anchorage, Alaska, at -42.1%, Miami at -37.2%, and New York at -35.5%. No metro area had a year-over-year sales percentage increase in February.
  • Median Sales Price: The markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in median sales price were Bozeman, Mont., at -13.8%; San Francisco at -12.7%, and Phoenix at -7.8%. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages: Burlington, Vt., at +16.4%, Wichita, Kan., at +12.5%, Milwaukee, Wisc., at +12.3%, and Hartford, Conn., at +11.3%.
  • Days On Market: The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Baltimore at 17, Manchester, N.H., at 19, and Washington, D.C. at 20. The highest days on market averages were in Bozeman, Mont., at 79, Fayetteville, Ark., at 78, followed by a tie at 64 between San Antonio, Texas, and Seattle. Days on market is the number of days between when a home is first listed and a sales contract is signed.
  • Months' Supply Of Inventory: In February 2023, the markets with the lowest months' supply of inventory were Albuquerque, N.M., and Seattle, tied at 0.7, followed by a three-way tie between Charlotte, N.C., Hartford, and Washington, D.C. at 0.8. The markets with the highest months' supply of inventory were Bozeman at 3.3, San Antonio at 3.1, and New Orleans at 3.
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