Home Prices Start to Rise, Sales Trend Higher: Housing Recovery Underway
DENVER, March 14, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- For the first time in 18 months, home prices in February rose higher. With a median price of $171,881, prices in the 53 cities surveyed by the RE/MAX National Housing Report rose by 1.1% over February 2011. Home sales were even higher, up 8.7% from one year ago. With a positive sales trend of 8 straight months above the previous year, it's looking like 2012 will witness a very strong home-selling season. As a result of reduced foreclosure activity, inventory continued a downward trend for the 20th straight month, 22.4% lower than the housing inventory in February 2011. Consumer sentiment appears to be rising, and record low mortgage rates coupled with favorable home prices are attracting homebuyers and investors who don't want to miss a historic opportunity.
"All the data is pointing to a very active spring and summer selling season this year, which is great news for a recovering housing market," said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. "As sales numbers have trended higher for several months, we have been anticipating a turnaround in home prices, and it looks like it's finally starting."
Transactions – Year-Over-Year Change
Home Sales in February were 8.7% higher than sales in February 2011. This was the 8th straight month year-to-year sales have risen. February home sales were also 8.1% higher than sales in January. Of the 53 metro areas included in the survey, 45 saw increases over February last year and an impressive 26 metro areas saw double-digit jumps, including: Albuquerque, NM +46.6%, Providence, RI +36.7%, Raleigh, NC +33.8%, Boston, MA +30.5% and Chicago, IL +27.5%.
Median Sales Price
The Median Sales Price of homes sold in February was $171,881. This price represents a 1.4% increase from January, and a 1.1% rise from the median price seen in February 2011. February is the first time in 18 months that the year-to-year home price has increased. Of the 53 metro areas included in the February survey, 24 experienced price increases from February 2011, including: Miami, FL +20.5%, Orlando, FL +15.8%, Phoenix, AZ +12.5%, Tampa, FL +11.1%, St. Louis, MO +9.8% and Detroit, MI +8.9%.
Days on Market – Average of 53 Metro Areas
The average Days on Market for properties sold in February was 103, the same as for the month of January, and the same average seen in February 2011. Only two months in the last 12 months saw a Days on Market average below 90: July and September both reported 88. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 Metro Areas
In the month of February, the average inventory of homes-for-sale in the 53 surveyed metro areas dropped 0.8% from January and also dropped 22.4% from February 2011. Month-to month inventories have now fallen for 20 consecutive months. Given the current rate of sales, and the size of the active inventory, the resulting Months Supply is 6.6 months, a drop from the 7.3 month supply seen in January, and significantly lower than the 9.3 month supply reported in February 2011. Months Supply is the number of months it would take to clear a market's active inventory at the current rate of sales. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
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The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Month's Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (active inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where "pended" data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median price of all residential properties sold during the month.
MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period's data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.