In its continued effort to curb inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate in February by a quarter-percentage point to 4.50% - 4.75%, its 8th rate hike since March of last year, when the interest rate was nearly zero. Mortgage interest rates have dipped slightly from their peak last fall, leading pending sales to increase 8.1% month-to-month as of last measure, however affordability constraints continue to limit homebuyer activity overall, with existing-home sales declining for the twelfth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
New Listings were down 40.3% for single-family homes and 40.7% for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 39.5% for single-family homes and 25.8% for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
The Median Sales Price was down 25.4% to $1,440,000 for single-family homes and 6.3% to $1,150,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
Months' Supply of Inventory increased 16.7% for single-family units but remained flat for Condo/TIC/Coop units. With buyer demand down from peak levels, home price growth has continued to slow nationwide, although prices remain up from a year ago. Sellers have been increasingly cutting prices and offering sales incentives in an attempt to attract buyers, who have continued to struggle with affordability challenges this winter. The slight decline in mortgage rates earlier this year convinced some buyers to come off the sidelines, but with rates ticking up again in recent weeks, buyers are once again pulling back, causing sales activity to remain down heading into spring.