Good early signs for homebuyers and sellers as 2024 opens its doors

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A thaw is in the air, according to Realtor.com’s Margaret Heidenry. The early spring that pesky groundhog predicted might be happening for the housing market.

“The biggest indicator that the largely frozen market is thawing is the massive spike of fresh listings that sellers added to the market,” she says, citing the latest data. “New listings were up by a whopping 12.8% for the week ending Feb. 3 compared with the same time last year— the biggest jump in nearly three years.”

She reports that overall housing inventory (of both new and old listings) shot up by 12.2% for the same period, adding up to more options for home shoppers. She goes on to break down the latest data from the Realtor.com economists.

Sellers, who have been closely monitoring mortgage rates because they, too, might want to sell and buy elsewhere, are adjusting their selling strategies. Last fall’s rate was the highest in 23 years, with homeowners locked into their low existing rates, making them stay put.

Since then, rates have fallen a percentage point but have been stuck there, refusing to make any significant swings up or down.

“Mortgage rates remain stagnant,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.

So why sell now? “Perhaps it’s because they now surmise that mortgage rates are going nowhere fast, and they are finally making their moves before rates possibly tick up again,” says Heidenry.

Median home prices are also stuck in the pre-spring mud, rising and falling like small waves without making a big splash in either direction. “Home prices have been in a rough holding pattern since May 2023 and have deviated from prior-year levels only by a range of -0.9% to +2.2%,” Heidenry reports, adding that for the week ending Feb. 3, the median home list price was 0.9% higher compared with the same week last year — at $409,500.

Perhaps it’s a sign median home prices aren’t growing as quickly as usual? Listings and sales are up even though that figure is 40% lower compared with the pre-COVID-19 years between 2017 and 2019. According to experts, the push and pull between supply and demand could nudge home prices higher. “If there are only a few homes for sale, sellers can charge more and buyers will often bid prices up to secure a home,” says Heidenry.

How all of these data points add up remains to be seen. For now, buyers are diving into the market and making offers, likely excited by the new listings. The TOM (time on market) figure for the week ending Feb. 3 was three fewer than the same week a year ago — perhaps moving quickly because there are no guarantees that the wave of fresh listings will continue.

Realtor, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

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Brian Voytko

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The Mortgage Whiz

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Cell: 215-407-3832

Email: BVoytko@PRMG.net

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Brian Voytko

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Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832


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