Prices fell more than 8% in San Francisco and San Jose
Newark, Milwaukee and Buffalo saw prices rise more than 10%
SEATTLE, (March 14, 2019) – U.S. home-sale prices increased just 0.6 percent year-over-year to a median of $287,400 in February, according to a report by Redfin, (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. This was the smallest increase recorded since prices stopped falling year-over-year in March 2012.
“When home prices are going up quickly, buyers feel like they are forced to move fast and purchase a home before prices rise even more. Now that home prices are growing slower than inflation (prices for consumer goods were up 1.5% annually in February), there really isn’t much downside to taking your time,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “And now that mortgage rates are no longer going up every week, buyers in many markets have the luxury of knowing that whether they buy now or later they will pay about the same for a home.”
Home prices fell in 10 of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks, with the largest year-over-year declines in Bridgeport, CT (-15.2%), San Jose, CA (-11.3%) and San Francisco (-7.9%). Metros with the biggest increases in home prices from last year were led by Newark (12.2%), Milwaukee (11.8%) and Buffalo, NY (11.7%).
Completed home sales rose nationally for the first time in seven months and only the third time in the past 12 months in February, up 1.9 percent from a year earlier. Growth in home sales has see-sawed above and below zero, but the overall trend has been falling since late 2016. February may be the start of a reversal in this trend. Home sales fell in 41 of the 85 largest metro areas that Redfin tracks.
The number of homes for sale at the end of the month was up 2.9 percent from a year earlier in February. The number of homes newly listed for sale fell from February 2018 (-4.8%).
Home-selling speeds, which reached a record-fast median pace of 35 days on market last May, slowed year-over-year again in February. The typical home that sold in February went under contract in a median of 59 days, two days longer than a year earlier.
“Because homes are sitting on the market longer and the market is less competitive than last year, first-time homebuyers now have a better chance of winning a home,” said Fairweather. “That could mean more potential buyers in the spring. Home sales are already rebounding this month, and that trend may continue now that the market is more balanced.”
Oakland, San Francisco and Denver reclaimed their positions as the fastest housing markets in February, when the typical home that sold went under contract in 18, 22 and 27 days, respectively. Grand Rapids, MI (28) and Tacoma, WA(30) were the next fastest markets. 2019 kicked off with Buffalo (now the 17th fastest market), Grand Rapids and Omaha(now the 7th fastest) leading the nation for home-selling speeds in January.
To view the full report, complete with charts and metro-level data breakdowns, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2019/03/february-2019-housing-market-tracker.html.
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 85 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $60 billion in home sales.
For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center.