Consumers have been feeling positive about buying and selling since the start of the year, and the latest housing market report released by C.A.R. reflected the improvement in optimism. Both supply and demand increased in February and the competitiveness of the market appeared to be heating up as we entered the spring homebuying season. With the inflation data coming in stronger than expected in the past couple of weeks, rates began to trend up again, which could create some headwinds for homebuyers in the near term. While the market may see more moderate sales in March, housing demand should pick back up in the later part of the home buying season as inflation shows more signs of easing and rates begin to trend down again.

 

Housing supply shows further improvement but could slow in weeks ahead: Active listings at the state level increased on a year-over year basis for the first time in 11 months, and the increase for the current month was the largest in 12 months – an encouraging sign that housing supply could be heading in the right direction as the market approaches the spring homebuying season. Newly listed for-sale properties also increased from a year ago for the second consecutive month by double digits as more sellers put their homes up for sale. The recent rising trend in mortgage rates, however, could slow the flow of supply in coming weeks as potential sellers hold off on putting their house up on the market until rates moderate again.

 

California home sales reach highest level in 17 months: Home sales in California continued to improve in February with the statewide existing single-family home sales reaching a level last seen in September 2022, as momentum started by the decline in mortgage rates at year-end got carried over to February. Sales of existing single-family homes in California totaled 290,020 in February, up 12.8% from 257,040 in January and up 1.3% from 286,290 recorded 12 months ago. Pending sales at the state level slipped back down by -2.6% in February after recording its first year-over-year gain since May 2021, as mortgage rates rose to the highest level in two months. With rates rising throughout the month of February, the growth pace of closed sales could slow in March before picking back up in the later part of the home buying season.

 

Median price dips from the prior month but registers another annual gain in January: The statewide median price registered a strong year-over-year gain in February. California recorded a median home price of $806,490 last month, up 2.2% from $789,480 in January and up 9.7% from $735,300 in February 2023. The near-double-digits year-over-year gain was the eighth straight month of annual price increases for the Golden State. It was also the tenth time in the last 11 months that the median price of an existing single-family home exceeded $800,000. While tighter housing supply was the primary reason for the increase in home prices, more higher-priced housing units being sold was also another factor for the strong surge in price growth in February. 

 

If you have any questions or would like personalized advice regarding the current market conditions, please feel free to reach out. Your success in real estate is my top priority.

 

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