- National inventory declined by 42.6% over last year.
- The inventory of newly listed properties declined by 23.2% nationally and by 17.3% for large metros over the past year.
- The January national median listing price was $346,000, up 15.4% compared to last year. Large metros saw an average price gain of 10.9% compared to last year.
- Nationally, the typical home spent 76 days on the market in January, 10 days less than the same time last year.
Realtor.com®’s January housing data release reveals that home buyers will face a competitive spring season as sellers slowly crawl back into the market and inventory remains low. It has been roughly one year since the public became aware of the novel coronavirus, which has since escalated into a pandemic, disrupted the economy, and put the housing market on hold for several months last spring. Since then, homebuyers, supported by low interest rates, more than made up for the slow start to the 2021 homebuying season in the summer, fall, and all the way through to the winter holidays. Whether this momentum can be sustained depends on more inventory becoming available as well as any movement in interest rates, which are expected to slowly tick up this year. This January, the national inventory of homes for sale has reached a new low, as socio-political events and a renewed pandemic surge led to faster selling homes and fewer new listings entering the market than the same time last year. While the new administration has put forth a pandemic action plan that could lead to ‘herd immunity’ by this fall, inventory levels will likely not return back to normal as early as this spring. Homebuyers may need to prepare for a competitive season with lower inventory (especially in more affordable price categories), continuing growth in asking prices in response to strong buyer demand, and slowly rising interest rates.
Strong buyer demand and a lack of sellers push inventory to new lows
Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in January decreased by 42.6% over the past year, a higher rate of decline compared to the 39.6% drop in December. This amounted to 443,000 fewer homes for sale compared to January of last year. Despite a slightly more active December, sellers once again entered the market more hesitantly in January, which saw 23.2% fewer new listings enter the market compared to last year.
Housing inventory in the 50 largest U.S. metros overall declined by 41.8% over last year in January, greater than last month’s 38.6% decline. While in December, all regions except for the South saw a year-over-year increase in new listings, in January, all regions saw renewed declines as sellers became skittish entering into 2021. New listings were down 24.0% in the South, 22.6% in the Midwest, 14.4% in the Northeast, and 6.6% in the West.
Markets that saw the largest year-over-year decline in newly listed homes included Cleveland (-37.1%), Jacksonville (-36.9%), and Memphis (-32.6%). Only San Jose, San Francisco, and Denver saw newly listed homes increase, by 24.8% and 14.4%, and 1.8%, respectively. Overall, newly listed homes in the largest 50 metros decreased by 17.3% compared to last year.
Homes sell fast with Virginia Beach, Va., Sacramento, and Birmingham, Ala., leading the decline in days on market
Homes for sale in January continued to be scooped up more quickly than last year, as buyer demand remained solid through the new year. The typical home spent 76 days on the market this January, which is 10 days less than last year. However, this yearly decline has slowed compared to December 2020, when homes sold 13 days more quickly than the previous year.
In the 50 largest U.S. metros, the typical home spent 60 days on the market, and homes spent 12 days less on the market, on average, compared to last January. Among these 50 largest metros, the time a typical property spends on the market has decreased most in the South and West, where the typical property spent 2 weeks less on the market compared to last year, followed by the Midwest (-12 days) and the Northeast (-11 days).
Among larger metropolitan areas, homes saw the greatest decline in time spent on the market compared to last year in Virginia Beach (-27 days); Sacramento (-24 days); and Birmingham (-22 days). Only two markets saw time on market increase compared to the previous year: New York (+11 days), and Miami (+5 days).
Home listing prices continue to go up, up, up
The median national home listing price grew by 15.4% over last year, to $346,000 in January, higher than last month’s growth rate of 13.4%. The nation’s median listing price per square foot also grew by 17.5% compared to last year, an acceleration from the 15.9% growth seen last month. Listing prices in the nation’s largest metros grew by an average of 10.9% compared to last year, higher than last month’s rate of 8.8%. Among the largest 50 metros, listing prices are increasing most in northeastern markets, where they are now growing at an average rate of 16.8% over last year, compared to a growth rate of 12.3% for western metros, 10.4% for midwestern metros, and 8.0% for southern metros. This month, price growth accelerated in all regions compared to last month.
Austin (+30.2%), Rochester (25.9%), and Los Angeles (+22.4%) posted the highest year-over-year median list price growth in January. Miami (-3.2% year-over-year) and Minneapolis (-0.4%) were the only top 50 metros to see listing prices decline year-over-year in January.
Regional Statistics (50 Largest Metro Combined Average)
|Region||Active Listing Count YoY||New Listing Count YoY||Median Listing Price YoY||Median Days on Market Y-Y|
Metros With the Largest Decline in Active Listings
|Metro||Active Listing Count YoY||Median Listing Price YoY||Median Listing Price||Median Days on Market Y-Y||Median Days on Market||New Listing Count YoY|
|Austin-Round Rock, Texas||-67.4%||30.2%||$460,000||-15||56||-31.2%|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.||-60.6%||17.9%||$485,000||-22||48||-29.4%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas||-54.8%||6.3%||$361,000||-17||49||-24.4%|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.||-53.0%||8.2%||$302,000||-9||57||-31.8%|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.||-52.0%||14.1%||$365,000||-14||51||-27.9%|
|Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y.||-51.9%||21.3%||$240,000||-13||58||-29.2%|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.||-49.7%||4.2%||$250,000||-21||51||-28.5%|
|Oklahoma City, Okla.||-49.6%||7.0%||$278,000||-10||54||-31.6%|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas||-49.1%||2.5%||$295,000||-12||62||-25.7%|
|Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.||-49.0%||11.5%||$363,000||-12||77||-23.2%|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.||-47.3%||11.3%||$320,000||-8||62||-32.2%|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.||-47.2%||1.6%||$315,000||-27||48||-18.3%|
|St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.||-41.4%||16.6%||$250,000||-7||84||-10.9%|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.||-39.2%||10.1%||$303,000||-22||60||-18.6%|
|New Orleans-Metairie, La.||-37.9%||14.3%||$320,000||-16||70||-18.5%|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.||-36.4%||-0.4%||$370,000||-12||54||-10.0%|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas||-35.8%||11.7%||$340,000||-13||58||-18.2%|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va.||-32.7%||4.2%||$500,000||-20||48||-4.1%|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.||-25.8%||-3.2%||$400,000||5||95||-15.6%|
|Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.||-23.8%||6.6%||$345,000||-9||57||-13.0%|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.||-21.1%||15.7%||$850,000||N/A||80||-18.4%|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.||-16.6%||22.4%||$1,150,000||-5||77||-3.7%|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.||-5.8%||14.4%||$629,000||11||101||-9.6%|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.||18.2%||9.1%||$990,000||-1||48||14.4%|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.||19.0%||9.0%||$1,199,000||-13||38||24.8%|
*Some data for Pittsburgh, Seattle and San Diego has been excluded due to data quality.
Are you interested to learn more about the Greater Princeton, New Jersey Market Conditions, feel free to contact me at 609-915-9665.
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