The U.S. real estate market remains hot ahead of the spring selling season, with existing home sales up 6.7% as of last measure. Experts attribute the growth in sales to an uptick in mortgage interest rates, as buyers rushed to lock down their home purchases before rates move higher. Even so, sales prices continue to rise with a Median Sales Price increase of 8.3 percent to $340,000 from this time last year.
For many buyers, 2022 marks a new opportunity to make their home purchase dreams a reality. But it won’t be without its challenges.
Inventory of existing homes was at 910,000 at the start of the new year, the lowest level recorded since 1999, and competition remains fierce.
Pending Sales decreased 13.0 percent from January 2021 to 3,122 for the month. Closed Sales decreased 16.7 percent from January 2021 to 2,810 for the month. Inventory levels market-wide decreased 30.1 percent to 3,894 units.
The number of homes for sale was down compared to this time last year. Inventory levels market-wide decreased 28.3 percent to 4,193 units.
Months’ supply of inventory was down 21.4 percent since last year at 1.1 months. That’s well below the 5 months that’s considered balanced. Percent of List Price Received at Sale remained at 100.7 percent since last year.
Months’ supply of inventory was down 23.5 percent to 1.3 months. A balanced market is about 5-6 months of supply. 1.3 months of supply indicates a pretty extreme sellers’ market.
There are some signs of a potential market shift, even though both new and active listings are down compared to last year and sales are up compared to 2019.
In new construction, home builders continue to struggle to meet buyer demand, as housing starts nationwide dropped 7% last month, according to the Commerce Department.