Dwelling costs posted a year-over-year decline for the primary time in additional than a decade in February as a severe cooldown in the market pressured sellers to slash their listings.
The median sale value for previously-owned US properties sank to $363,000 in February, in keeping with knowledge from the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors revealed Tuesday.
That was a lower of 0.2% in comparison with the identical month one yr earlier, when the median value was $363,000.
The downtick snapped a streak of 131 consecutive months by which costs had elevated year-over-year – the longest run of its variety on report.
The US housing market has suffered because the Federal Reserve’s rate of interest hikes drive main volatility in long-term mortgage charges.
“The velocity of decline in costs is being restricted by the shortage of present properties coming to market…however even the comparatively low variety of properties listed are taking longer to promote,” Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson stated in be aware.
Essentially the most vital declines occurred within the West, the place median costs fell by 5.6% to $541,000 final month, and within the Northeast, the place median costs sank 4.5% to $366,100.
The NAR’s findings matched latest knowledge revealed by actual property agency Redfin, which additionally stated earlier this month that it had tracked its first year-over-year decline in home prices since February 2012.
Whereas costs dropped for the month, the quantity of existing-home gross sales jumped 14.5% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual fee of 4.58 million – the primary enhance in 12 months. Gross sales have been nonetheless down 22.6% in comparison with the identical month one yr in the past.
The spike in gross sales quantity coincided with a drop in long-term mortgage rates final month, which sank to simply above 6% in February after topping 7% final fall.
“Acutely aware of adjusting mortgage charges, homebuyers are benefiting from any fee declines,” stated Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “Furthermore, we’re seeing stronger gross sales beneficial properties in areas the place house costs are lowering and the native economies are including jobs.”
Mortgage charges have spiked once more this month – elevating the probability that the elevated housing exercise will probably be short-lived.
“A transparent drop in gross sales in March, maybe to a brand new cycle low, is probably going,” Shepherdson added.
The housing market will get its next indication on the likely path of mortgage rates when the Federal Reserve announces whether it will hike interest rates on Wednesday. Investors are currently betting on a quarter percentage point despite recent turmoil in the US banking sector.
As The Post reported, some experts have suggested mortgage rates could start to fall if the Fed slows down or pauses its slate of hikes.
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