By Bill McBride
Early reports suggest NAR reported sales will rebound in February
Here’s a look at local markets in February. I’m tracking about 40 local housing markets in the US. Some of the 40 markets are states, and some are metropolitan areas. I’ll update these tables throughout the month as additional data is released.
Closed sales in February were mostly for contracts signed in December and January. Since 30-year fixed mortgage rates were over 6% for all of December and January – compared to mid-3% range the previous year – closed sales were down significantly year-over-year in February. However, the impact was probably not as severe as for closed sales in December and January (rates were the highest in October and November 2022 when contracts were signed for closing in December and January).
Active Inventory in February
Here is a summary of active listings for these housing markets in February.
Inventory in these markets were down 20% YoY in February a year ago and are now up 82% YoY! So, this is a significant change from early 2022, although this is a smaller YoY inventory increase than in January (up 93% YoY).
Notes for all tables:
- New additions to table in BOLD.
- Northwest (Seattle), Santa Clara (San Jose), Jacksonville, Source: Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®
- Totals do not include Atlanta or Denver (included in state totals)
New Listings in February
And here is a table for new listings in February. For these areas, new listings were down 16.2% YoY. Potential sellers that are locked into their current homes with low mortgage rates has pushed down new listings.
Last month, new listings in these markets were down 7.4% YoY. This is a larger YoY decline in new listings, and similar to the YoY declines in October, November and December.
Closed Sales in February
And a table of February sales.
In February, sales in these markets were down 23.1%. In January, these same markets were down 33.8% YoY Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).
This is a significantly smaller YoY decline NSA than in January for these early reporting markets.
The early data suggests NAR reported sales will rebound in February. This will still be a significant YoY decline, and the 18th consecutive month with a YoY decline.
Note: Even if existing home sales activity bottomed in January there are usually two bottoms for housing – the first for activity and the second for prices.