January 2018

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.

Closed Sales were up 5.3 percent in January compared to January 2017. Pending Sales increased 3.1 percent to 2,216, and Inventory shrank 18.4 percent to 7,070.

Median Sales Price was up 10.0 percent to $158,000. Average Sales Price rose 5.6 percent in January. Absorption Rate was down 20.7 percent to 2.3.

Whatever external forces are placed upon residential real estate markets across the country – whether they are related t o 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.