Low inventory of houses in many parts of the country is causing an imbalance in supply and demand. While prices have gone up about 6.7% January 2020 versus 2019 not every area is seeing the same results. U.S. home-sale prices increased to a median of $306,400, according to a new report from Redfin, a real estate brokerage. Home prices were also up 0.7% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The most affordable metro areas continued to experience the biggest gains in home prices in January. Among the 20 metro areas with the largest year-over-year price increases, 18 had prices below the national median, led in January by Memphis, Tenn. (median price $182,900, up 17.1%), Dayton, Ohio ($132,000, +14.8%) and Rochester, NY ($148,500, +13.3%).
Of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks, only three saw a year-over-year decline in the median sale price: San Jose, Calif. (-4.3%), Baton Rouge, La. (-4.1%) and Greenville, SC (-1.4%). Nationwide, home sales increased in January for the sixth consecutive month, but were down 1.1% from December on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The markets with the biggest increases in home sales from a year ago were North Port, Fla. (29.9%), Las Vegas, Nev. (23.8%) and Anaheim, Calif. (23.2%).
Redfin introduced a new measure of housing supply called “active listings,” which is a count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month. This is opposed to “inventory” which is a count of only the homes for sale on the last day of the month. The active listings of homes for sale during January fell 11.4% year over year, the biggest decline since March 2013 and the sixth straight month of declines. There were fewer homes for sale last month than any time since January 2013. None of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in the count of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale.
Compared to a year ago, the biggest declines in active housing supply in January were in Salt Lake City, Utah (-49.5%), Allentown, Penn. (-33.1%), and Kansas City, Mo. (-28.9%).
Homes sold in January spent two fewer days on market compared to the prior year. In January, the typical home went under contract in 56 days, compared to 58 days in January 2019. The share of homes that sold above list price increased 1.1 percentage point year over year, coming in at 18.7% in January compared to 17.6% a year earlier.
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