Housing Supply Overview
As we enter 2018, it will be most interesting to watch demand dynamics, as home sales have been lower in several markets over the last few months. Whether this is related to there being not enough homes for sale, prices getting too high or less buyer interest remains to be seen. For the 12-month period spanning February 2017 through January 2018, Pending Sales in the Western Upstate region were up 0.2 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $300,001 and Above range, where they increased 12.7 percent.
The overall Median Sales Price was up 7.8 percent to $165,000. The property type with the largest price gain was the Single-Family Homes segment, where prices increased 7.6 percent to $169,500. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $100,001 to $150,000 range at 54 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $300,001 and Above range at 104 days.
Market-wide, inventory levels were down 3.3 percent. The property type that gained the most inventory was the Condos segment, where it increased 16.0 percent. That amounts to 4.8 months supply for Single-Family homes and 4.5 months supply for Condos.
Last year, U.S. consumers seemed to be operating with a renewed but cautious optimism. The stock market was strong, wages were edging upwards and home buying activity was extremely competitive. Not much has changed in 2018 in terms of those measures, yet there is a sort of seasoned prudence mixed into the high emotions that go with a major expense like a home purchase. We are now several years deep into a period of rising prices and low inventory. Those in the market to buy a home have caught on. As sellers attempt to take advantage of rising prices, expect buyers to be more selective.
New Listings were down 0.6 percent to 646. Pending Sales decreased 47.0 percent to 202. Inventory shrank 3.3 percent to 1,982 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 1.5 percent to $164,950. Days on Market increased 9.3 percent to 82 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 4.0 percent to 4.8 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
Whatever external forces are placed upon residential real estate markets across the country – whether they are related to tax legislation, mortgage rates, employment situation changes, new family formations, the availability of new construction and the like – the appetite for home buying remains strong enough to drive prices upward in virtually all markets across the country. New sales are not necessarily following that trend, but monthly increases are expected until at least late summer.
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