According to new numbers from Redfin, the housing market kicked off 2019 with buyers in a much better position than a year ago. With the exception of the West Coast, home-sale prices increased 2.9 percent, with a median of $285,900 across the U.S. metros, compared to January 2018.
"December was a rough month for home sales, but homeowners appear to be undeterred in the new year as more are listing their homes for sale,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin.
Back in December, the forecast was that the housing market would continue to cool into the first half of 2019, with the biggest drop in coastal cities like San Francisco and Seattle. This would cause an increase in inventory, lowering price growth to levels compared to 2014 or possibly 2011. As a result, investors and house-flippers tend to back away and real estate companies to quickly sell at a profit. “ But we didn't know how sellers would react to a cooler market. It's encouraging to see that listings are up--it means that sellers aren't taking the ball and going home," Fairweather added,
Nationally, completed home sales fell for the sixth consecutive month, and home sales declined in 57 of the 81 largest metro areas in January, dropping 7.6 percent from last year. The number of homes newly listed for sale in January rose from a year earlier (+4.4 percent), helping to push the total number of homes for sale up 6.3 percent, the biggest supply increase since May of 2015.
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman is optimistic, stating “We expect the supply of homes for sale to increase, giving buyers more homes to buy, but not so many that prices drop broadly,” during the company’s earnings call last week.
Read the full report here.