February National Housing Report

March 24, 2021

The median home price reached $291,000 in February – the highest in the 13-year history of the report – while sales set a new high for the month and inventory continued to drop to record lows.

The record February home sales were up 5.7% year over year, but the increase over January was flat at 0.3%. The February-over-January average for the previous five years has been 5.4% in the ramp-up toward the seasonally higher sales of spring.

The Median Sales Price across the report’s 53 metro areas topped the previous high of $290,000 reached in August and tied in October and December during last year’s housing surge. In February of last year, the Median Sales Price was $260,000.

At the same time, February’s Months Supply of Inventory was down 11.9% from January’s and 42% year-over-year, as buyers continued to close on properties in greater numbers than sellers opted to list their homes. Inventory has declined month over month for 20 of the past 21 months.

“The shrinking inventory continued to fuel ongoing bidding wars, and our agents report some homes selling for well above listing price,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “It’s a complicated, competitive market, with buyers having to act quickly and aggressively to get the home they want. Conditions seem to be keeping some potential sellers on the sidelines, but that could change if or when they see more move-up options on the market. With seasonality, still-low interest rates, and gains in new construction, we hope to see some relief in supply during the coming months. The expertise of a full-time, experienced real estate professional who can guide homebuyers and sellers through any environment has never been more valuable.”

Amplifying the dearth of inventory, Months Supply of Inventory dropped to 1.6, which was lower than any previous month in report history and down from 3.4 in February 2020. Days on Market set a February record of 42 as homes sold on average 18 days faster than last February.

In all, five report records for February were rewritten: most home sales, highest price, lowest inventory, fewest Days on Market and fewest Months Supply of Inventory.

Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics for February 2021 include:

Closed Transactions
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in February 2021, the overall average number of home sales is up 0.3% compared to January 2021, and up 5.7% compared to February 2020.  Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Augusta, ME at +39.7%, New York, NY at +28.6% and Honolulu, HI at +25.1%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In February 2021, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $291,000, up 2.1% from January 2021, and up 11.9% from February 2020. No metro area saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Forty-five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Boise, ID at +29.6%, Augusta, ME at +26.5% and Pittsburgh, PA at +25.8%.

Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in February 2021 was 42, up two days from the average in January 2021, and down 18 days from the average in February 2020. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Boise, ID at 17, Nashville, TN at 21 and Omaha, NE at 22. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 94, Miami, FL at 89 and Augusta, ME at 87. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in February 2021 was down 11.9% from January 2021 and down 42.0% from February 2020. Based on the rate of home sales in February 2021, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 1.6 compared to 1.9 in January 2021, and decreased compared to 3.4 in February 2020. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In February 2021, of the 53 metro areas surveyed, one metro area reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory included a three-way tie at 0.5 months among Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO, and Boise, ID and a four-way tie at 0.6 between Raleigh-Durham, NC, Charlotte, NC, Phoenix, AZ and Seattle, WA.

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