Local Market Conditions

It’s time to take a look at the latest facts and figures from across the country.

Today we’ll be looking into the latest Existing Home Sales report released this week by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® for the month of February. 2013 was one of the best years for real estate that we had seen in a long time, but January saw sales dipping a bit. Sales in February were pretty compared to January’s numbers, but they were still lower than last year. One of the major factors affecting sales so far this year, along with tight inventory, has been the extremely severe weather we’ve seen right across the country.

However, there was good news about home prices as they continued to show strong growth.

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So let’s dig down into those numbers now for you. Total existing home sales for the month of February dropped just 0.4% from January, very close to where we were last month. Total existing home sales saw a more significant drop compared to February 2013, just over 7%.

But as we said, there’s good news to be had in increasing home values. The national median existing home price for all housing types in February was $189,000. The median is the price point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less. The median price was more than 9% above the February 2013 median and, as a result, more and more homeowners are seeing equity in their homes grow.

And there are still definitely buyers out there. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says that with the unusual weather disruptions we’ve seen some transactions delayed. So there should be some improvement in the months ahead and we could see a better than expected spring market. Mr. Yun also believes that with a projected pickup in job creation, home sales should trend up over the course of the year.

Now let’s have a look at the Existing Homes Sales figures broken down by region.

Existing home sales in the Northeast fell over 11% from January and were also lower compared to February of last year. However, the median sales price was up by 1.5% from the year before.

Sales were down compared to January in the Midwest, and down when compared to February 2012 by over 12%. But the median selling price climbed over 8% from last February.

These may seem like big numbers but bear in mind that the Northeast and the Midwest saw some of the worst of that February weather.

In the South, sales actually rose from January and were almost at the same level that we saw in February of last year. The median price rose over 8% from 1 year ago.

Finally, we saw month to month sales gain of almost 6% in the West in February compared to January. They were down from last February, but the median selling price was up a full 18% from February 2013.

So that’s the existing home sales report this month. A slow start to the year but that may lead to a promising spring market round the corner.

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