DENVER — February home sales dipped nearly 1% from January, potentially setting the stage for what is typically the year’s biggest month-over-month ramp-up in sales as March typically is considered the start of the spring home-selling season. And while the number of homes on the market remained at record lows, February’s month-over-month decline in inventory of 6.8% was the smallest such decrease in five months.
At the same time, home prices across the report’s 51 metro areas started to move upward again after experiencing no such increase in January and four small monthly declines in the second half of 2021. February’s Median Sales Price of $345,000 – the highest in report history – was three percent higher than January’s and 17.3% above a year ago. Only three months in 2021 – March (4.5%), April (5.9%) and June (4.9%) – saw prices increase at a higher rate.
Despite declining 4.7% year-over-year, February’s slight month-over-month drop in sales of 0.9% was in sharp contrast to an average increase of 4.4% from January to February over the past five years (2017-2021). Currently underway, March home sales typically produce the largest monthly increase in closings each year. From 2015-2019, sales rose an average of 35% month over month from February to March, while the second-highest average month-over-month increase was just 14% from April to May.
Inventory declined 6.8% from January to February following double-digit declines the previous four months and was down 28.9% from February of 2021. Months Supply of Inventory dropped to 1.2, compared to 1.3 in January and 1.8 a year ago.
Homes spent an average of 35 days on the market in February – one more than January, but eight less than a year ago.
“With such high demand and low inventory, houses are flying off the shelves right now – even at prices that have reached new highs. Having more listings on the market would be good for everyone, but the stage is set for another active spring selling season,” said Nick Bailey, President and CEO. “Buyers, feeling pinched by inflation, are snapping up new listings and racing to take advantage of near historically low rates before they go up. It’s clear the dream of homeownership is still top of mind for many Americans.”
Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics for February include:
Of the 51 metro areas surveyed in February 2022, the overall average number of home sales is down 0.9% compared to January 2022, and down 4.7% compared to February 2021. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were Manchester, NH at -26.8%, Burlington, VT at -22.8%, and Albuquerque, NM at -18.9%. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Houston, TX at +20.9%, Boise, ID at +18.0%, and Tulsa, OK at +10.5%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 51 metro median prices
In February 2022, the median of all 51 metro Median Sales Prices was $345,000, up 3.0% compared to January 2022, and up 17.3% from February 2021. No metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Thirty-three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Billings, MT at +29.6%, Phoenix, AZ at +28.6%, and Tampa, FL at +28.3%.
Days on Market – Average of 51 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in February 2022 was 35, up one day from the average in January 2022, and down eight days from the average in February 2021. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Nashville, TN at 14, Seattle, WA at 17, and a two-way tie between Omaha, NE and Salt Lake City, UT at 18. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 98, Miami, FL at 79, and New York, NY at 77. 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 51 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in February 2022 was down 6.8% from January 2022 and down 28.9% from February 2021. Based on the rate of home sales in February 2022, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 1.2 compared to 1.3 in January 2022, and decreased compared to 1.8 in February 2021. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In February 2022, of the 51 metro areas surveyed, zero metro areas 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 were Denver, CO at 0.4, and a four-way tie between Albuquerque, NM, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh-Durham, NC, and Seattle, WA at 0.5.