Closes one inch ahead of expected spring surge

RE/MAX took out his February 2022 National Housing Reportrevealing that home sales fell about 1% from January, forecasting what is typically the biggest month-over-month sales increase of the year.

March is generally considered the start of the spring home sales season, although the number of homes on the market remained at record highs. The 6.8% month-over-month drop in inventories in February was the smallest decline in five months.

Meanwhile, home prices in the 51 metro areas in the report have started to rise again after seeing no increases in January and four small monthly declines in the second half of 2021. The median sale price of $345,000 in February was the highest in the history of the report, 3% more than in January and up 17.3% compared to 2021. As a result, no agglomeration experienced a year-over-year decline in the median selling price, while about 33 metropolitan areas rose year-over-year by double-digit percentages.

Despite falling nearly 5% year-over-year, February’s slight 0.9% month-over-month drop in sales contrasted sharply with January’s average increase of 4.4% to February over the past five years. Home sales in March also typically produce the largest monthly increase in closings each year.

The top 5 markets with the largest year-over-year increase in median selling price compared to February 2021 were:

1. Salt Lake City, Utah ($516,759 vs. $410,000)

2. Las Vegas, Nevada ($420,000 vs. $330,000)

3. Tampa, Florida ($346,350 vs. $270,000)

4. Phoenix, Arizona ($450,000 vs. $350,000)

5. Billings, Montana ($350,000 vs. $270,000)

Highlights and local markets leading various metrics for February include:

  • Of the 51 metropolitan areas surveyed in February 2022, the overall average number of home sales is down 0.9% from January 2022 and 4.7% from February 2021.
  • The markets with the largest year-over-year sales percentage declines were Manchester, NH (-26.8%), Burlington, VT (-22.8%) and Albuquerque, NM (-18, 9%).
  • Houston, TX (+20.9%), Boise, ID (+18.0%) and Tulsa, OK (+10.5%) led the year-over-year sales percentage increase.

“With such high demand and such low inventory, homes are flying off the shelves right now – even at prices that have reached new highs. Having more listings on the market would be good for everyone, but the stage is set for another active sales season in the spring,” said Nick Bailey, President and CEO of RE/MAX. “Buyers, feeling pinched by inflation, are buying new listings and rushing to take advantage of near-historic low rates before they rise. Clearly the dream of home ownership is still a concern major for many Americans.”

Inventories fell 6.8% from January to February after double-digit declines in the previous four months and were down 28.9% from February 2021. The monthly inventory supply fell to 1, 2%, compared to 1.3% in January and 1.8 in 2021. Homes spent an average of 35 days on the market in February – one day more than in January, but eight less than in 2021.

The metropolitan areas with the lowest number of days on market were in Nashville, Seattle, Omaha, Nebraska and Salt Lake City. The highest days on the market averages were in Des Moines, Iowa, Miami and New York.

The number of homes for sale in February 2022 was down 6.8% from January 2022 and 28.9% from February 2021. A six-month supply indicates an evenly balanced market between buyers and sellers. In February 2022, of the 51 metro areas surveyed, no metro area reported a monthly supply of six or more – generally considered a buyers’ market. Among the markets with the lowest monthly inventories were Denver, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Seattle.

To read the full report, including charts and methodology, Click here.