The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.
New Listings were down 36.1 percent for single family homes and 23.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 4.8 percent for single family homes but decreased 10.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
The Median Sales Price was down 7.6 percent to $1,285,000 for single family homes but increased 10.3 percent to $1,210,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 25.0 percent for single family units and 4.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.
Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.
Click here for full report: SFAR_MarketFocus_2017-Feb