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U.S. Median Sales Price Experiences Modest Increase

Despite being down 24.4% year-over-year, February home sales increased 16.8% from January, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for February 2023. That was the largest month-over-month increase in 11 months and ended a five-month streak of sales declines that began in September.

The median sales price of $385,000 increased 0.6% over January, ending a seven-month streak of price declines since the peak of $426,000 in June 2022. Although home prices increased slightly month-over-month, February marked the first year-over-year drop in prices since January 2012 – as the median was 1.3% lower than a year ago ($390,000).

Inventory increased year over year for the 10th consecutive month, and the number of homes for sale in the report's 50 metro areas was 55.0% higher than a year ago.

"Prices have steadied and demand is strong, but the lack of available, affordable homes remains a challenge," said Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President and CEO. "Mortgage rates are top of mind for many buyers, and as they move up or down, sales activity should generally follow suit. That's a big factor to watch as we move into the spring."

Laurie Thiel, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Equity Group in Beaverton, OR is already seeing an uptick in demand and activity in her area. "As the market has stabilized, our agents are experiencing increased activity with homebuyers and sellers. Even though the time to sell a home has increased, inventory in the Portland metropolitan market remains limited."

Other notable metrics:

  • Months' Supply of Inventory in February was 1.7, down from 2.0 months in January but well above last February's 1.0.
  • February's average close-to-list price ratio was 98%, meaning that on average, homes sold for 2% less than the asking price. In January, the ratio was 97%.
  • Homes sold in February were on the market for an average of 45 days – three days less than January but two weeks longer than a year ago.

Highlights and local market metrics for February include:

Closed Transactions 
Of the 50 metro areas surveyed in February 2023, the overall number of home sales is up 16.8% compared to January 2023 and down 24.4% compared to February 2022. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year sales percentage were:

  • Anchorage, AK (-42.1%)
  • Miami (-37.2%)
  • New York, NY (-35.5%)

No metro area had a year-over-year sales percentage increase in February.

Median Sales Price – Median of 50 metro area prices
In February 2023, the median of all 50 metro area sales prices was $385,000, up 0.6% compared to January 2023, and down 1.3% from February 2022. The markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in median sales price were:

  • Bozeman, MT (-13.8%)
  • San Francisco (-12.7%)
  • Phoenix (-7.8%)

Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages:

  • Burlington, VT (+16.4%)
  • Wichita, KS (+12.5%)
  • Milwaukee (+12.3%)
  • Hartford, CT (+11.3%)

Close-to-List Price Ratio – Average of 50 metro area prices
In February 2023, the average close-to-list price ratio of all 50 metro areas in the report was 98%, up compared to 97% in January 2023, and down from 101% compared to February 2022. The close-to-list price ratio is calculated by the average value of the sales price divided by the list price for each transaction. When the number is above 100%, the home closed for more than the list price. If it's less than 100%, the home sold for less than the list price. The metro areas with the lowest close-to-list price ratio were Miami at 94%, and New Orleans at 96%. The highest close-to-list price ratios were in Hartford, CT and Richmond, VA, tied at 101%.

Days on Market – Average of 50 metro areas
The average days on market for homes sold in February 2023 was 45, down three days from the average in January 2023, and up 14 days from the average in February 2022. The metro areas with the lowest days on market were Baltimore at 17, Manchester, NH at 19, and Washington, DC at 20. The highest days on market averages were in Bozeman, MT at 79, Fayetteville, AR at 78, followed by a tie at 64 between San Antonio, TX and Seattle. 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 50 metro areas
Overall, the number of homes for sale in February 2023 was down 7.5% from January 2023 and up 55.0% from February 2022. Based on the rate of home sales in February 2023, the months' supply of inventory was 1.7, down from 2.0 compared to January 2023, and up compared to 1.0 in February 2022. In February 2023, the markets with the lowest months' supply of inventory were Albuquerque, NM and Seattle tied at 0.7, followed by a three-way tie between Charlotte, NCHartford, CT, and Washington, DC at 0.8. The markets with the highest months' supply of inventory were Bozeman, MT at 3.3, San Antonio, TX at 3.1, and New Orleans at 3.0.

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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