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Existing Home Sales Soar in February 2024!

Updated: Apr 9

In the ever-fluctuating world of real estate, February brought us some unexpected news. In a striking turn of events, existing home sales didn't just hold steady; they soared, defying expert predictions and setting the stage for an intriguing 2024 market. Thanks to the insightful reporting by Jann Swanson of Mortgage News Daily, we have a clear picture of the dynamics at play in the current real estate landscape.

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The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported a significant jump in pre-owned single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments sales, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million units. This 9.5 percent increase from the previous month marks the most substantial monthly rise since last February, although it still trails behind that month's 4.53-million-unit rate by 3.3 percent.

Analysts had set their sights lower, with consensus estimates around the 3.92 million unit mark. Yet, the market had other plans, showcasing a resilience and vibrancy that took many by surprise. Single-family home sales, in particular, saw a notable 10.3 percent gain, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.97 million, despite a slight year-over-year decrease.

Even more interesting is the rise in inventory. The number of homes available for sale climbed by 5.9 percent from January and 10.3 percent from the previous February, totaling 1.07 million units. This suggests a 2.9-month supply at the current sales rate, indicating that inventory remains a critical factor in the market balance.

Prices, too, have continued their upward trajectory. The median existing home price for all housing types in February rose to $384,500, a 5.7 percent increase from the previous year, marking the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. This trend underscores the persistent demand in the market, coupled with the premium placed on homeownership.

The role of first-time buyers and investors remains significant, with these groups accounting for 26 percent and 21 percent of the month's sales, respectively. Cash transactions constituted a third of all sales, reflecting the competitive nature of the market and the value of liquidity in securing purchases.

Regional differences painted a diverse picture of the national market. The Northeast, despite lagging in sales, led in price increases, with the median price jumping 11.5 percent from the previous year. The Midwest, South, and West each told their unique stories, with sales and prices moving in various directions, painting a complex and multifaceted picture of the American real estate landscape.

As we look ahead, the call for increased inventory becomes ever more pressing. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, emphasized the need for more supply to stabilize home prices and facilitate the movement of Americans to their next homes. The disparities between regions highlight the nuanced challenges and opportunities facing the market, requiring a keen eye and strategic thinking for those looking to navigate these waters successfully.

Thinking of Buying, Selling or Investing?

For those contemplating a step into the real estate market, whether buying, selling, or investing, the current dynamics offer both challenges and opportunities. The rise in sales and prices underscores the value and demand in the market, while the increase in inventory suggests a slight easing in the competition, albeit from a low base.

In navigating this complex landscape, expertise and guidance become invaluable. This is where Mortgage Masters of California comes in. With a deep understanding of the market and a commitment to personalized service, our team is poised to help you make informed decisions that align with your real estate goals.

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Whether you're looking to secure your first home, find an investment property, or navigate the sale of your current residence, our experts are here to guide you through every step of the process. With a finger on the pulse of the market and a commitment to your success, Mortgage Masters of California is your trusted partner in all things mortgage.

We invite you to reach out and explore how we can support your journey in the dynamic world of real estate. Let's turn your dreams into reality, together. Call us at 707-203-8600 or reach out to us using the Contact Us form below.

Frank Garay Mortgage Masters of California

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