There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth, though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit for any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.
New Listings were down 18.1 percent for single family homes and 36.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 6.6 percent for single family homes and 7.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 10.8 percent to $1,468,000 for single family homes but decreased 2.6 percent to $1,145,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 30.4 percent for single family units and 40.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.
With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high. Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future should be curbed for the time being.
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