Realtor.com® February 2014 Housing Report: Solid February Gains Point to Seller Optimism

Inventories Rise 10 Percent as Price Gains Stick Through Winter Storms

PR Newswire

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Realtor.com®, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc. (MOVE), today released its National Housing Trend Report for February 2014. As prices continue to rise, more sellers are putting their homes on the market than this time last year, a sign of confidence in the gains sustained through the winter and an indication of a strong early beginning to the spring home buying season.

Data from realtor.com® reveals the number of properties for sale in February rose 10.1 percent above February 2013 levels, to 1,744,032 units. The median list price at $199,000 increased 7.6 percent compared to the same month last year, and the median age of inventory increased 6.5 percent above year-ago figures, to 114 days.

"Overall these figures indicate a continued reinforcement of steady gains and market stabilization that we've been watching since late last summer," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move. "Seller confidence is the factor to watch as we head into the spring home buying season, and these are very encouraging indicators – not only are more homes coming onto the market, but typically we don't see a rise in asking prices this early into the year. This is the market these sellers have been waiting for."

Many have speculated that as homeowners gained equity across 2013, sellers otherwise prevented from making 'life event' associated housing changes, for various reasons such as births, children entering school, aging home owners downsizing to smaller residences and others, now are finally able to tap into the resources necessary to make those changes. The increase in inventory is even more noteworthy given the severe climate conditions that likely dampened a more typical month of listing activity across much of the nation. Despite these encouraging gains, however, inventories are still extremely low, and this remains a key factor to watch for long-term housing market health.  

National Key Market Indicators for February 2014


February 2014

Year-over-Year

Percentage Change

Month-over-Month

Percentage Change

Number of Listings

1,744,032

10.1 percent

4.3 percent

Median Age of Inventory

114 days

6.5 percent

-0.9 percent

Median List Price

$199,000

7.6 percent

2.1 percent

National Perspective

  • Widespread inventory increases: Nationally, inventories in February were 10.1 percent higher than they were one year ago. Ninety-nine of the 146 markets tracked by realtor.com® saw year-over-year gains in inventory in February; of those, 63 markets rose by ten percent or more. The added supply does not appear to be impacting price gains; just eight markets of those with inventory gains registered declines in median list price year over year, none greater than 6.1 percent. Broad inventory gains in more than half the markets in February are strong signs of a far healthier inventory than the previous year.  
  • List prices rise in advance of the buying season: Despite the increase in inventory, the median list price jumped by more than 2 percent in February to $199,000, 7.6 percent higher than it was one year ago. These list price increases are another sign of seller confidence going into the selling season, as sellers price their homes in anticipation of market conditions in the coming months. While annual gains in list price were widespread, they also were fairly modest throughout much of the country; of the 121 markets that posted year-on-year gains in median list price in February, 84 markets rose less than 10 percent. These modest increases are positive signs of a more balanced market overall heading into the spring season.
  • Days on market grow slightly: Along with the notable uptick in inventory and median list price in February, median age of inventory gained 6.5 percent in February compared to year-ago levels, to 114 days. Ninety-three of the markets tracked by realtor.com® saw increases in time on market in February; of those, 21 markets increased time on market by 20 percent or more. Forty-five markets still registered year-over-year declines in age of inventory in February 2014, with eight markets dropping more than 10 percent compared to year-ago levels. 

Local Market Highlights

  • In the California markets that became overheated last spring, inventories have bounced back. Stockton has twice as many homes listed on realtor.com® than they had a year ago. Fresno, Bakersfield, Riverside and Oakland all report year over year increases of 40 percent or more on the numbers of homes for sale. 
  • Among the 10 largest markets still registering inventory declines from a year ago, Denver and Chicago are relatively strong markets whose median list prices are up on a year-over-year basis by 19.6 and 14.3 percent, respectively. The inventory deficits in these markets will likely continue to put significant upward pressure on housing prices going into the 2014 home buying season. However, these and a handful of other Colorado markets are unlikely to experience the kind of appreciation that occurred in California through much of last year, since the deficits are not as large.
  • Despite the encouraging signs of a spreading recovery across much of the country, weak markets still persist. List prices in 14 markets dropped by more than 1 percent in February, typically in older, industrialized areas such as Shreveport, Rochester and Omaha. These patterns underscore the multi-pronged nature of the housing recovery and its dependence on the strength of the local economies.

Realtor.com® regularly tracks real estate data and develops monthly reports featuring the number of listings, median age of inventory and median list price across the U.S. and in specific markets, as well as provides year-over-year and month-over-month changes. These reports are the only ones pulled directly from the realtor.com® database, where 90 percent of listings are updated every 15 minutes from more than 800 MLSs. We regularly review and update historical data in order to provide the most accurate and comprehensive market information available. For more information on Move, please visit www.move.com or one of its many online real estate properties including realtor.com®.

Supporting Resources

ABOUT realtor.com®

Operated by Move, Inc., (MOVE), realtor.com® helps connect people with the content, tools and expertise they need to find their perfect home. As the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®, realtor.com® empowers consumers to make the smartest decisions when it comes to finding a home by leveraging direct connections with more than 800 MLSs to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date listing information in neighborhoods across the country, and by making timely and meaningful connections between consumers and REALTORS®. Whether through desktop, mobile, or tablet versions, realtor.com® is where home happens.

ABOUT MOVE, INC.

Move, Inc. (MOVE), the leader in online real estate, operates:  realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®; Move.com, a leading destination for new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden, and home finance; ListHub™, the leading syndicator of real estate listings; Moving.com™; SeniorHousingNet; SocialBios; Doorsteps®; TigerLead® Top Producer® Systems and FiveStreet.  Move, Inc. is based in San Jose, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management's view of Move's future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different from those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move's future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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