Sellers Keep Faith as Inventories Rise

Despites declines in prices through the fourth quarter and January, sellers are expecting nearly demand to be as strong as it was at the beginning of the homebuyer tax run-up in sales a year ago according to February data released today by Move, Inc.

Nationally the median list price for all 2.8 million properties listed on Realtor. com in February remained at $199,000 in February, the same as the previous month and only marginally below (0.50 percent) the median list prices one year ago.  Move, Inc. operates the

However, average listing prices continued to fall, a sign that home prices are still falling across the country. Those listing prices were essentially unchanged from year ago but they were down 0.5 percent from the previous month, with big declines in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (-8.6 percent), Honolulu (-5 percent), and Sacramento, Calif. (-2.5 percent).

Overall inventories grew by less than one percent during the month, although they remain about 13 percent above last year’s levels.  For the month of February, listings increased in 107 markets versus January, and they declined or stayed flat in 39.

The median number of days that homes were listed for sale in February, at 164 days, represents a 2.5 percent increase from January and a 29 percent increase from one year ago. The age of the inventory generally increased with listing price.  The median home with a listing price of $200,000 or less has been on the market for 138 days, compared to 342 days for homes that are listed at $1 million or more.

The largest monthly gains in median house price occurred in Miami FL (5.96 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino (5.00 percent), Fort Lauderdale FL (3.39 percent), San Francisco (3.75 percent), and Punta Gorda, FL (3.12 percent).  Although the median listing price in Miami is marginally higher (1.22 percent) than it was a year ago, the median list price in the other four markets continue to be down on a year-to-year basis.  

The largest year-over-year increases in median list price occurred in Middlesex-Somerset NJ (19.63 percent), Fort Myers-Cape Coral FL (14.84 percent), Wichita KS (14.14 percent) Austin-San Marcos TX (12.89 percent), and Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY (11.67 percent).  Prices fell most in Los Angeles-Long Beach CA (-25.57 percent), Reno, NV (-13.03 percent), Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc CA (-8.26 percent), and Denver CO (-8.05 percent).

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