Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, there’s good news to report as the spring selling season approaches. Slowing sales and growing inventories benefit buyers while record prices benefit sellers, according to data in this month’s RE/MAX National Housing Report.
“Trends of five months or more often indicate significant shifts, and the year-over-year trends in declining sales and rising inventory have both reached that length now,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The big picture supports an ongoing return to more balanced conditions, which is beneficial to buyers and sellers.”
Inventory Bounces Back
Inventory grew 5.8 percent over February of 2018, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth following a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in February 2019, the overall average number of home sales is down 4.2 percent compared to last February.
Rising Median Sales Price
Bucking downward trends, the Median Sales Price increased to $240,000, a year-over-year gain of 5.5 percent and a February record in the 10-year history of the report. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Boise, Idaho; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Wilmington/Dover, Delaware.
Home Sales Down
Home sales in the 54-market report have declined year-over-year for seven consecutive months, though February’s downturn of 4.2 percent was the smallest since the 1.1 percent drop that started the streak in August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Houston, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
“The next few months will determine whether the shift brings a wave of buyers into the market for the spring selling season,” added Contos. “Members of our network are reporting high local demand along with a need for even more inventory. The optimism for a solid spring exists — and a more balanced market certainly contributes to it.”