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Redfin: New Home Listings Surged 12% in February, Slowing the Rate of Inventory Declines

Median Sale Price Growth Slowed to 4.8 Percent
Inventory Fell to Record Lows in Seattle, Portland, Louisville and Other Regions

SEATTLE — March 17, 2016 — New home listings grew at the fastest rate since 2013 in February, surging 11.9 percent from last year, according to a new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage.
“New listings rebounded in a big way after getting off to a weak start at the beginning of the year,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “There were enough new listings in February to cut the inventory deficit in half. More listings also had a side benefit of curbing the strong acceleration in prices we saw the last two months.”

The median sale price grew 4.8 percent to $251,727, a smaller increase than the 6.3-percent average over the past year. Year over year, sales were up 4.8 percent in February, a lower rate than in December and January. Overall inventory fell 3.7 percent year over year, a slower decline than in recent months, but a disappointing number for homebuyers hoping for more choices as the spring selling season approaches.

The market was slightly more competitive than a year earlier. A typical home spent 47 days on the market, down from 52 days, and 17.7 percent of homes sold above asking price, compared with 16.7 percent last year. There were 4.2 months of supply, down from 4.5, with six months representing a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

If big increases in new listings continue into the spring, there is hope that the market will turn in buyers’ favor. But from the data recorded so far in 2016, it seems the inventory shortages characteristic of expensive Western regions with robust job growth have now spread inland. Metro areas that pair strong local economies with more affordably-priced homes, like Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis and Nashville are seeing patterns similar to those well established on the West Coast.

Local Market Insights in February:

  • The rust belt saw some of the highest price growth in the county, with the median sale price in Akron, OH growing 17.1% to $115,000, Cleveland up 16.7% to $105,000, Detroit up 14% to $114,000, and Grand Rapids up 12.9% to $140,000 over last year.
  • For the second month in a row, Grand Rapids had the biggest drop in inventory, falling 48.8% year over year. Inventory in Louisville dropped 38.6%, and Portland, OR, dropped 37.4% compared to last year.
  • Seattle had record-low inventory in February with just 3,643 homes for sale in the metro region at the end of the month, a 38.8% decline from last year.
  • Sales fell sharply in San Jose and San Francisco, decreasing by 32.3% and 23.5% respectively. Miami (-10.7%) and West Palm Beach, FL (-14.7%) were the only other two metro regions with a double-digit percentage point drop in home sales.

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/03/feb-national-housing-market-tracker.html.

Redfin also took an in-depth look at home prices, inventory and sales across neighborhoods for four cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the customer’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 industry’s most accurate home-value estimate, the Redfin Estimate. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commission. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $31 billion in home sales, and saved customers more than $335 million in fees, and counting.