Existing-home sales have been declining for a year, with January seeing a 0.7% drop compared to December. Despite this, median home prices are still on the rise. Here’s a look at the key indicators and regional snapshots from NAR’s latest housing report, and what it means for sellers.
The National Association of REALTORS® reports that total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops—decreased by 0.7% in January compared to December 2022. Home sales have dropped by almost 37% compared to the same period last year. However, the median existing-home sales price nationwide rose by 1.3% compared to a year ago, reaching $359,000.
Economists are hopeful for a turnaround in sales activity for the housing market heading into spring, as mortgage rates begin to stabilize. Despite rising prices, the supply of homes for sale continues to be tight in most markets across the country. Unsold inventory remains at a brisk, 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace.
As competition lessens, first-time home buyers are re-emerging, accounting for 31% of sales in January, up from 27% a year earlier. All-cash transactions comprised 29% of sales in January, up from 27% in January 2022. Distressed sales accounted for 1% of sales in January, matching levels from a year earlier.
While the median prices rose in three out of the four major regions of the U.S., only the West saw a decline last month. This should be taken into account by sellers who are considering putting their homes on the market. With inventory remaining low but buyers having better negotiating power, now is a good time to consider contacting a real estate agent to explore your options. Contact one of our reputable REALTORS® who can help you make the most of the current market conditions.