The housing market started off a little slow, but with interest rates dropping from last year, things appear to be more positive. Prices in most markets have continued to rise or stabilize as sellers still find themselves in an atmosphere where the demand for homes mostly outpaces the supply, albeit it has shifted somewhat with the increase in inventory recently and with buyers in some markets gaining some negotiating power.
Existing home sales actually rebounded strongly in February 2019. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of existing homes were up 11.8% from January 2019. Although February 2018 has seen sales down 1.8% the national median listing price for homes increased 3.6% year over year to $249,500. This marks the 84th straight month of year-over-year gains. As the year goes on 2019 is seeing most markets increasing in inventory which should give buyers more options and combined with the lower interest rates could prove to be a solid spring market. The median prices for existing homes were highest in the West ($379,300) and lowest in the Midwest ($188,800). The share of first-time buyers also increased from the previous month and from a year ago to 32%.
Unless a major economic collapse happens expect these numbers continue their upward slope. With supply still at odds with demand one will see increases in valuation continue and the starter home market in major metros facing a rough road ahead for affordability.