Housing Market Update: Supply Ticked Up in February for First Time in 8 Months

by Real estate financingMission+
9 minutes read

There are more homes for sale as spring approaches, and house hunters are hitting the pavement. Home touring activity is rising, and mortgage-purchase applications are up 11% this week.

New listings rose 13% from a year earlier nationwide during the four weeks ending March 3, the biggest increase in nearly three years. The boost in new listings helped bring the total number of homes for sale up 1.7%. Following eight months of declines, February is the first month the number of homes for sale has increased on an annual basis. 

This week’s pricing data also brings a few glimmers of hope for house hunters. Asking prices of new listings posted their smallest increase in roughly two months; additionally, 5.5% of home sellers dropped their asking price, on average, the highest share of any February since at least 2015. High mortgage rates pushed the median monthly housing payment to $2,694 this week, just $23 shy of the all-time high. But final sale prices, which rose 5.3% year over year, one of the biggest increases in a year and a half,  should start declining soon as price growth for new listings loses some momentum.  

House hunters are looking at homes and applying for mortgages as we approach spring. Touring activity is up 23% from the start of the year, compared to a 14% increase during the same period last year, and mortgage-purchase applications are up 11% week over week. That early-stage buying activity hasn’t yet translated to a boost in sales, with pending sales down 6% year over year.

“There have been two major obstacles for homebuyers over the last year: Low inventory and high housing costs,” said Redfin Economic Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Now, the first barrier is starting to come down as more supply comes on the market. Housing costs are still high, but they’re likely to come down a bit as mortgage rates gradually decline through the year and price growth loses some steam. Buyers who can afford today’s mortgage rates may have better luck finding a home now than they have in the past several months, and they also may be less likely to face competition because inventory is improving.”

For more on Redfin economists’ takes on the housing market, including how current financial events are impacting mortgage rates, please visit our “From Our Economists” page. 

Leading indicators

Indicators of homebuying demand and activity
Value (if applicable) Recent change Year-over-year change Source
Daily average 30-year fixed mortgage rate 6.97% (March 6) Down from 7.15% a week earlier Essentially flat  Mortgage News Daily 
Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate 6.94% (week ending Feb. 29) Up from 6.9% a week earlier; 4th straight week of increases Up from 6.65% Freddie Mac
Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted) Up 11% from a week earlier (as of week ending March 1) Down 8% Mortgage Bankers Association
Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted) Up 4% from a month earlier (as of week ending March 3) Down 7% Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other homebuying services from Redfin agents
Google searches for “home for sale” Up 4% from a month earlier (as of March 2) Down 11% Google Trends 
Touring activity Up 23% from the start of the year (as of March 1) At this time last year, it was up 14% from the start of 2023 ShowingTime, a home touring technology company 

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending March 3, 2024

Redfin’s national metrics include data from 400+ U.S. metro areas, and is based on homes listed and/or sold during the period. Weekly housing-market data goes back through 2015. Subject to revision. 

Four weeks ending March 3, 2024 Year-over-year change Notes
Median sale price $368,588 5.3%
Median asking price $399,223 5.1% Smallest increase since 4 weeks ending Jan. 14
Median monthly mortgage payment $2,694 at a 6.94% mortgage rate 6.9% Down just $23 from all-time high set in October 2023
Pending sales 77,925 -6.4%
New listings 81,971 12.8% Biggest increase since June 2021 (there was also a 12.8% increase during the prior 4-week period)
Active listings 773,048 1.7% Largest increase since the four weeks ending June 4, 2023. Based on revised data, active listings began increasing for the first time since June during the 4 weeks ending Feb. 11. 
Months of supply  3.7 months +0.3 pts.  4 to 5 months of supply is considered balanced, with a lower number indicating seller’s market conditions. 
Share of homes off market in two weeks  39.1% Up from 37%
Median days on market 47 -2  days
Share of homes sold above list price 24.3% Up from 23%
Share of homes with a price drop 5.5% +1.3 pts.
Average sale-to-list price ratio  98.5% +0.4 pts. 

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending March 3, 2024

Redfin’s metro-level data includes the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy. 

Metros with biggest year-over-year increases Metros with biggest year-over-year decreases Notes

Median sale price

Newark, NJ (14.7%)

Montgomery County, PA (14.6%)

Anaheim, CA (14%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (13.9%)

New Brunswick, NJ (13.8%)

San Antonio, TX (-3.2%)

Declined in just 1 metro

Pending sales Cincinnati (9.2%)

Milwaukee (6%)

Pittsburgh (5%)

Minneapolis (5%)

Austin, TX (4.6%)

San Francisco (2.8%)

Seattle (0.7%)

Cleveland (0.2%)

San Antonio, TX (-23.8%)

Warren, MI (-15.7%)

New Brunswick, NJ (-15.6%)

Atlanta (-15.1%)

Nassau County, NY (-14.1%)

Increased in 8 metros
New listings Fort Worth, TX (27%)

Fort Lauderdale, FL (25.4%)

Houston (24.4%)

Jacksonville, FL (24.1%)

Miami (24.1%)

Atlanta (-5.9%)

Newark, NJ (-2.1%)

Chicago (-0.4%)

Declined in 3 metros

Refer to our metrics definition page for explanations of all the metrics used in this report.

Source

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