U.S. Home Prices Hit New Record High in February

U.S. Home Prices Hit New Record High in February

Residential News » Seattle Edition | By WPJ Staff | March 24, 2022 8:25 AM ET

According to national property broker Redfin, U.S. home prices climbed 16% year over year to a new all-time high of $389,500 in February 2022, as the number of homes for sale fell to another new low. The lack of inventory is holding back home sales, which were down 4% from January 2022.

Daryl Fairweather

"An acute shortage of homes for sale continues to stymie buyers in the current market," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Rather than dropping out of the housing market, homebuyers only seem to be getting even more voracious, driving prices up at a startling clip. Typically, rising mortgage rates weaken demand for homes--we don't see demand weakening yet, but we will be watching to see if buyers back off or remain steadfast amidst rising borrowing costs."

The median sale price rose 3.5% between January and February, the fastest month-over-month gain ever seen during the winter months.

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"Virtually every home for sale gets multiple offers these days," said San Diego Redfin real estate agent Ashley Van Leuven. "Most listings receive 20 or more offers, and the buyers who win are nearly always waiving contingencies and offering substantially above list price--sometimes by several hundred thousand dollars."

Median sale prices increased from a year earlier in all but one of the 88 largest metro areas Redfin tracks. The only metro area with a decrease was Bridgeport, CT, where home prices are still correcting from a major pandemic surge and fell 6% from a year earlier. The largest price increases were in North Port, FL (+29%), Phoenix, AZ (+28%) and Las Vegas, NV (+28%).

Seasonally-adjusted home sales in February were down 7% from a month earlier and down 6% from a year earlier. Home sales fell from the prior year in 63 of the 88 largest metro areas Redfin tracks. The biggest sales declines were in Rochester, NY (-27%), Anaheim, CA (-21%) and Albany, NY (-20%). The largest gains were in Houston, TX (+22%), McAllen, TX (+16%) and Tulsa, OK (+10%).

Seasonally adjusted active listings--the count of all homes that were for sale at any time during the month--fell 14% year over year to an all-time low in February.

82 of the 88 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted year-over-year decreases in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale. The only metro areas where the number of homes for sale increased were Elgin, IL (+22%), Detroit, MI (+8%), Chicago, IL (+5%) and Austin, TX (+2%). The biggest year-over-year declines in active housing supply in February were in Greensboro, NC (-43%), Allentown, PA (-41%) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (-38%).

New listings fell from a year ago in 53 of the 88 largest metro areas. The largest declines were in Allentown, PA (-41%), Greensboro, NC (-39%) and Charlotte, NC (-23%). Listings rose the most in New York, NY (+19%), Memphis, TN (+17%) and Houston, TX (+17%).

Home sales that closed in February reflected a turn toward a more competitive housing market, a trend that is typical for this time of year, even as we exit the most competitive winter ever.

The typical home that sold in February went under contract in 25 days--eight days faster than a year earlier, when homes sold in a median 33 days, and the shortest time on market ever for a February. In February, 47% of homes sold above list price, up 11 percentage points from a year earlier, up 5 points from January and the highest level seen in February.

The average sale-to-list price ratio in February was 101.3%, up from 99.8% a year earlier, up from 100.4% in January and the highest level on record for a February.

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