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3rd Look at Local Housing Markets in February
California Sales Down 8.2% YoY, Inventory up from January
This is the third look at local markets in February. I’m tracking about 35 local housing markets in the US. Some of the 35 markets are states, and some are metropolitan areas. I’ll update these tables throughout the month as additional data is released.
My view is that if the housing market starts slowing, it will show up in inventory first.
The following data is important, especially active inventory. One of the key factors for house prices is supply and tracking local inventory reports will help us understand what is happening with supply.
On a national basis, we saw record low inventory over the Winter. I’ll be watching to see if inventory follows the normal seasonal pattern and bottoms in February. Last year, inventory didn’t bottom until April.
California Sales Down 8.2%, Prices up 10.3% Year-over-year
California doesn’t report monthly sales (not seasonally adjusted) or inventory, but here is the press release from the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.): California home sales edge higher in February amid geopolitical tensions and inflation uncertainty, C.A.R. reports
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 424,640 in February, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. …
February’s sales pace was down 4.5 percent on a monthly basis from 444,540 in January and was down 8.2 percent from a year ago, when 462,720 homes were sold on an annualized basis. The year-over-year sales decrease was the eighth straight decline and the smallest in seven months.
California home prices continued to increase from the prior year, picking up momentum again after slowing down for eight consecutive months. The statewide median price inched up to $771,270 in February, up 0.7 percent from January’s $765,610 and up 10.3 percent from the $699,000 recorded in February 2021. The stronger-than-expected growth in the statewide median price is attributed partly to a change in the mix of sales toward homes in the million-dollar price range, as sales jumped in higher-priced regions such as the Central Coast and the San Francisco Bay Area.
California’s Unsold Inventory Index (UII) rose in February as active listings climbed from January to the highest level in three months. February’s UII was 2.0 months and 2.1 months in February 2021. The index indicates the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.
Active Inventory in February
Here is a summary of active listings for these housing markets in February. Inventory was down 5.3% in February month-over-month (MoM) from January, and down 23.9% year-over-year (YoY).
It appears inventory has bottomed seasonally in some areas. Last month, these markets were down 26.5% YoY, so the YoY decline in February is smaller than in January. This isn’t indicating a slowing market, but maybe a few baby steps towards a more balanced market in some areas.
Notes for all tables:
New additions to table in BOLD.
Northwest (Seattle), North Texas (Dallas), and Santa Clara (San Jose), Jacksonville, Source: Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®
Totals do not include Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis (included in state totals).
Please share with your friends and colleagues!
New Listings in February
And here is a table for new listings in February. For these areas, new listings were down 2.4% YoY.
Last month, new listings in these markets were down 11.4% YoY. This is a significant change.
Closed Sales in February
And a table of February sales. Sales in these areas were down 2.6% YoY, Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA). The table doesn’t include California where sales were down 8.2% year-over-year.
Note: The Houston market was up 25.6% year-over-year due to the freeze in February 2021.
More to come. This is about two-thirds of the markets I track.