In a comeback from the start of the year, existing-home sales in February sprang up 11.8 percent to 5.51 million, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.
February inventory ticked up to 1.63 million—a boost from 1.59 million in January and from 1.58 million the prior year.
“A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “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.”
Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price was $249,500, a 3.6 percent increase year-over-year. The median price for sales in the single-family space was $251,400; the condo median was $233,300. By region:
Existing-Home Sales: 1.27 million (+9.5% YoY)
Median Price: $188,800 (+5.4% YoY)
Existing-Home Sales: 690,000 (+1.5% YoY)
Median Price: $272,900 (+3.8% YoY)
Existing-Home Sales: 2.39 million (-0.4% YoY)
Median Price: $219,300 (+2.5% YoY)
Existing-Home Sales: 1.16 million (-7.9% YoY)
Median Price: $379,300 (+3% YoY)
Currently, inventory is at a 3.5-month supply. In February, the average listing was on the market for 44 days, or seven days longer than the prior year. Forty-one percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.
Of the existing-home sales in February, 4.94 million were single-family—an increase from 4.36 million in January, but a slide from 5.01 million year-over-year. Condo and co-op sales totaled 570,000, a 5 percent slip year-over-year.
Twenty-three percent of sales were all-cash, and 16 percent by individual investors. Four percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 32 percent of sales.
The hottest markets, according to realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, which is included in NAR’s report, were Midland, Texas; Chico, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash.; and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.
“We’re very happy to see homebuyers returning to the market, as the beginning of spring represents a prime time to purchase a new home,” says John Smaby, NAR president. “Potential buyers and sellers should seek out a local REALTOR® to stay abreast of the market and take advantage of the various housing benefits that are currently being extended during housing transactions.”
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.