Despite a strong U.S. economy, historically low unemployment and steady wage
growth, home sales began to slow across the nation late last year. Blame was given
to a combination of high prices and a steady stream of interest rate hikes by the
Federal Reserve. This month, the Fed responded to the growing affordability
conundrum. In a move described as a patient approach to further rate changes, the
Fed did not increase rates during January 2019.
New Listings were up 19.4 percent to 1,551. Pending Sales increased 8.8 percent to
1,107. Inventory grew 6.6 percent to 3,277 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 3.1 percent to $165,000. Days
on Market decreased 11.4 percent to 62 days. Months Supply of Inventory remained
flat at 2.8, indicating a stabilizing supply-demand balance.
While the home affordability topic will continue to set the tone for the 2019 housing
market, early signs point to an improving inventory situation, including in several
markets that are beginning to show regular year-over-year percentage increases. As
motivated sellers attempt to get a jump on annual goals, many new listings enter the
market immediately after the turn of a calendar year. If home price appreciation falls
more in line with wage growth, and rates can hold firm, consumer confidence and
affordability are likely to improve.
Information courtesy of CMLS*