This spring will likely be another fiercely competitive one for home buyers. Real estate professionals should prepare their house hunters for record low inventories and rapidly rising home prices.
“Demand for housing was already strong coming into the year and we don’t see that slowing down with millennials reaching prime home-buying age, and many remote workers still in the market for more space,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “At the same time, sellers failed to materialize in January, which has pushed the number of homes for sale to new lows and suggests that our new normal of rising prices and brisk sales is here to stay at least through the first half of the year. Those thinking of getting into the market this spring should brace themselves for a competitive season, especially in the market for existing homes.”
If January is in any indication of how the spring market will play out, home shoppers will need to be ready to act quickly and have their financing in order. There will be fewer choices and likely continued high buyer competition. The number of homes for sale nationwide in January plunged 42.6% year-over-year, a new low, according to realtor.com®’s records dating back to 2021.
New listings in the 50 largest U.S. metros were down by the largest amounts in Cleveland; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Memphis, Tenn., which posted drops at 37.1%, 36.9%, and 32.6%, respectively, according to realtor.com®’s January Housing Trends Report.
Median national home listing prices increased by 15.4% compared to a year earlier, reaching $346,000 in January. The nation’s median listing price per square foot grew by 17.5% in January compared to a year ago, realtor.com®’s report shows. Median list prices posted the highest annual growth in January in Austin, Texas (up 30.2%); Rochester, N.Y. (up 25.9%); and Los Angeles (up 22.4%).