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Housing supply is finally rebounding as sellers get used to elevated mortgage rates, but it’s not rebounding enough to curb home price growth. High housing costs mean many house hunters remain hesitant to commit.

New listings jumped 3.8% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis in February to the highest level since September 2022, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. They were up 14.8% year over year, the largest annual gain since May 2021.

Active listings, or the total supply of homes for sale, hit the highest level in a year. They climbed 0.8% from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, and were little changed (-0.1%) from a year earlier–the smallest annual decline in months.

New listings rose fastest from a year earlier in Texas and active listings rose fastest in Florida–the two states that have been building the most homes. In Florida, condo listings in particular are contributing to the jump in supply amid a surge in HOA and insurance fees.

“The housing market is nothing like it was two years ago during the pandemic homebuying frenzy, but it’s better than it was last year. It’s coming back,” said David Palmer, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Seattle. “Sellers who were on the fence in 2023 are now listing. They’re more used to elevated rates now. There still aren’t enough listings to quench pent-up buyer demand, but it’s getting better.”

Nationwide, housing supply is on the rise because the “lock-in effect” is easing; eventually, homeowners who have been holding on to their ultra-low mortgage rates simply have to move.

“February was a mixed bag for the housing market and the economy,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Housing supply is finally starting to recover in a meaningful way, which is great news for buyers who for months have been competing for a tiny pool of homes for sale. Still, many house hunters are hesitant to pull the trigger because mortgage rates and home prices remain elevated.”

Mortgage-purchase applications slid in February as mortgage rates ticked back up after dropping in December. The average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate was 6.78% last month, up from 6.64% in January. Mortgage rates will likely remain elevated a bit longer than expected after this week’s inflation report came in hotter than anticipated.

Home sales rose 0.5% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, and fell 3.5% year over year.

Home Prices Post Biggest Increase in Nearly a Year and a Half

The median U.S. home sale price climbed 6.6% year over year–the biggest uptick since September 2022–to $412,778. Please note that home price data is not seasonally adjusted, which is why Redfin focuses on year-over-year changes for this metric.

Prices continue to rise because despite the recent uptick in listings, there’s still not enough supply to meet demand. Both new listings and active listings remained far below pre-pandemic levels in February.

“If you price your home reasonably, buyers will show up. If you don’t, buyers will wait for you to drop the price,” Palmer said. “I recently listed an estate sale fixer upper for $550,000 and it got 14 offers, sold for $75,000 over the asking price and the buyer waived every contingency.”

In Seattle, 77.4% of homes that went under contract did so within two weeks–the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. It took the top spot from Rochester, which has held that title for months. The typical home that went under contract in Seattle did so in 11 days (versus a national median of 48 days).

February 2024 Highlights: United States

 

February 2024

Month-Over-Month

Change

Year-Over-Year

Change

Median sale price

$412,778

2.7%

6.6%

Homes sold, seasonally adjusted

422,203

0.5%

-3.5%

New listings, seasonally adjusted

548,285

3.8%

14.8%

All homes for sale, seasonally adjusted (active listings)

1,601,260

0.8%

-0.1%

Months of supply

2.7

-0.5

0

Median days on market

48

-2

-5

Share of for-sale homes with a price drop

16.1%

-0.1 ppts

2.9 ppts

Share of homes sold above final list price

26.1%

2 ppts

2.6 ppts

Average sale-to-final-list-price ratio

98.7%

0.4 ppts

0.5 ppts

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.78%

0.13 ppts

0.52 ppts

Metro-Level Highlights: February 2024

  • New listings: New listings rose most from a year earlier in Austin, TX (44.6%), Dallas (38.1%) and Charleston, SC (36.8%). They fell in two metros–Albany, NY (-2.9%) and Buffalo, NY (-0.7%) –and were flat in Fresno, CA (0%).
  • Active listings (total supply): Active listings increased fastest in Cape Coral, FL (60.6%), North Port, FL (52.5%) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (25.5%). They decreased fastest in Raleigh, NC (-24.4%), New Brunswick, NJ (-19%) and Nassau County, NY (-18.5%).
  • Prices: Median sale prices rose most from a year earlier in Newark, NJ (16.5%), Anaheim, CA (15.8%) and Grand Rapids, MI (15.8%). They fell in three metros: San Antonio (-4.2%), Memphis, TN (-3.5%) and North Port (-2.2%).
  • Closed home sales: Closed sales rose most in San Jose, CA (24.9%), San Francisco (21.1%) and Dayton, OH (15.1%). They fell most in Frederick, MD (-14.8%), New Orleans (-14.2%) and Tulsa, OK (-14%).
  • Sold above list price: In San Jose, 65.3% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester, NY (62.8%) and Oakland, CA (62.3%). The shares were lowest in North Port (6.6%), Cape Coral (8.3%) and West Palm Beach, FL (8.7%).
  • Off market in two weeks: In Seattle, 77.4% of homes that went under contract did so within two weeks—the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester (75%) and San Jose (70.9%). The lowest shares were in Honolulu (8.4%), Greensboro, NC (19%) and McAllen, TX (20.8%).
  • Days on market: The typical home that went under contract in Seattle did so in 11 days, making the fastest market among those Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester (12) and San Jose (12). The slowest markets were New Orleans (97), Austin (82) and Honolulu (77).

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-tracker-february-2024

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