Although some parts of the country are still experiencing snow, in the region of real estate, things are definitely beginning to thaw, according to a preliminary analysis of realtor.com® data for February.
Coming out of their winter doldrums, listing prices have begun their traditional spring climb and quickly reclaimed historical highs, hitting a median $275,000—which was last summer’s peak. This indicates that we’ll probably see an even higher peak this spring and summer, the prime season for buying and selling homes. Listing prices also increased 10% compared with February 2017.
“Rapid mortgage rate jumps, and confirmation of a brighter economic outlook have inflated the pool of home buyers early in the year, putting an extra squeeze on the mid- and entry-level market,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com.
The persistent problem is an insufficient supply of homes for sale. While housing inventory grew 2% from January, it was down 8% from the February before.
“A second wind in demand has extinguished weak bursts of new construction and new listings, putting a larger than expected dent on inventory,” Vivas noted. “While fewer markets are seeing inventory get worse this month, many others have seen the listings shortage intensify even further.”
With buyers scrambling to get their hands on these homes, the properties are moving off the market 8% faster than this time last year, spending a median 83 days on the market.
And where were homes selling the fastest, and getting the most attention from home seekers? Using the key indicators of days on market and listing views per market, realtor.com came up with its monthly list of the hottest real estate markets in the nation.
While San Francisco held onto its top spot this month, Midland, TX, jumped from its No. 5 spot in January to No. 2, breaking up the California clique at the top. Still, California accounted for 13 of the top 20 markets. The rest belonged to Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Washington, and Indiana.
The biggest movers were Spokane, WA, which jumped 13 spots from its January rank, and Fort Wayne, IN, which moved up nine. Spokane, about four hours inland from Seattle on the Idaho border, has been attracting buyers fleeing high prices in Seattle.
The hot list
||20 Hottest Markets
||San Francisco, CA
||San Jose, CA
||Santa Rosa, CA
||Colorado Springs, CO
||San Diego, CA
||Santa Cruz, CA
||Fort Wayne, IN
||Los Angeles, CA