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Weather, Inventory Take Toll on February Home Sales

RE/MAX released its National Housing Report for February, showing that weather and a lack of inventory continues to push homes sales lower and prices higher.

Home prices rose 11.6 percent compared to February 2013, according to the report.

The median price for a home in February was $180,450, a 4.3 percent increase from the previous month, and continues a streak of 25 months of monthly price increases.

Forty-four of 52 reporting metros reported higher sales prices than one year ago; 18 metros reported double-digit increases.

Home sales, meanwhile, dropped by 8.8 percent compared to January’s year-to-year loss of 7.1 percent.

The report found, "Although winter months normally record the lowest home sales of the year, unusually harsh weather disrupted numerous home sales in February. Of all 52 metro areas surveyed, 42 saw year-to-year sales decrease."

Additionally, shrinking inventory nationwide continues to be a problem.

Months supply, considered balanced at 6.0, was 5.1 last month. While not too far from the balanced ideal, the inventory of homes for sale in February remained 2.4 percent less than January and 9.8 percent less than the previous year.

"A combination of severe weather and low inventories appears to have slowed February home sales. The improving economy, increasing new-home construction and significant pent-up demand should all be critical factors as we move into the traditionally stronger sales months of spring and summer," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.

Kelly added, "Sales during these months will determine the overall picture for 2014."

For homes sold in February, the average days on market was 80, five more days than the average in January. However, days on market was nine less than the average in February 2013.

Metros with the lowest month’s supply of homes last month included: Denver, Colorado (0.8); San Francisco, California (1.3); Los Angeles, California (2.5); San Diego, California (2.5); and Houston, Texas (2.6).

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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