In February 2019, we saw an increase in the rate of home sales as is typical with the beginning of Spring. The cold weather may have curbed enthusiasm a bit, but not that much. I regularly waited in-line outside new listings for a 5:00 PM showing (in freezing cold at times). Houses that were priced right and looking sharp were sold within 5-6 days typically. But with that continued pattern, we are also seeing the backlog of homes that are not selling pile up fast. Some of this is over pricing, some are in poor condition, and some is because we do have a few more listings coming on and fewer buyers jumping to buy. Average time on market is 20 days more in January and 10 days more in February than the two previous years. So this is a sign of some slowing. I don’t expect this to last long and things will get more competitive in late March through mid-May.
There are many statistics and measures we look at each month, compliments of RMLS, which we are members of. This chart I find useful and interesting, more so sometimes than the “months of inventory” statistic we typically put here (It’s 2.7 in February, down from 3.3 in January, and up from 1.9 in February 2017, and 2018). This graph shows the total active listings during the month. It’s a snapshot at the end of the month. Notice that the red line, 2019, shows about 1500 active listings more than the last two years. This is the gap between sellers putting their house on the market, and a buyer making an acceptable offer. It’s just taking a little longer to consume the listings than in the past. The number of listings in each of the last 14 months has been higher than the previous year. Notice our peak number of active listings is in September. A good time to shop for a home if you want to have more to choose from, and are not tied to the school year for your move.