NAR Says U.S. Existing Home Sales Fizzled in February but Boise Region Sales Remained Strong

 

NAR Says U.S. Existing Home Sales Fizzled in February
but Boise Region Sales Remained Strong

Key Takeaways:

  • Sales of existing homes were up in Ada County 19.5% and up 4.9% in Canyon County despite 7.1% decline nationwide between January 2016 and February 2016.
  • Nationally, tight inventory and increasing prices may be creating frustration and resistance towards purchasing, especially among first-time home buyers.
  • National statistics are great for bench marking, but local statistics and the insights of a REALTOR® are a consumer’s best bet for understanding their specific situation.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released their February 2016 Existing Home Sales report on Monday, causing concern that existing home sales nationwide were down 7.1% in February 2016 compared to January 2016. This was unexpected for the start of the spring selling season.

However, when looking at national home sales compared to last year, they were actually up 2.2% from February 2015. To give REALTORS® and their clients more insight into this trend, both month-over-month and year-over-year, and to compare these national trends to our local market, Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) offers this analysis…

NAR speculated that the general lack of inventory and the consistent gains in median sales price since last year may be causing frustration and possibly resistance towards purchasing, especially among first-time home buyers. “The overall demand for buying is still solid entering the busy spring season, but home prices and rents outpacing wages… are holding back a segment of would-be buyers,” says NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun.

It’s supply and demand: there are fewer existing homes for people to choose from, and those that are available are becoming more expensive as prices are bid up by competing buyers. While our local market is seeing similar trends in inventory and price to the national numbers, our sales remained strong in February 2016 compared to January 2016 and February 2015.

  • As noted, sales of existing homes in the U.S. were down 7.1% SAAR in February 2016 compared to January 2016, but up 2.2% SAAR from February 2015. In Ada County, closed sales for existing homes were up 19.8% SAAR compared to January 2016, and up 6.1% SAAR compared to February 2015. Canyon County closed sales were up 4.9% SAAR in February 2016 compared to January 2016, and up 7.8% SAAR compared to February 2015.
  • Inventory of existing homes in the U.S. was up 3.3% SAAR in February 2016 over January 2016, but down 1.1% SAAR from February 2015. In Ada County, inventory was up 6.6% SAAR compared to January 2016, and was up 1.1% SAAR in Canyon County, as we moved into the spring selling season. However, inventory of existing homes in both counties continued to lag compared to February 2015. Ada County inventory was down 5.7% SAAR year-over-year, and Canyon County inventory was down 6.8% SAAR.
  • The median sales price of existing homes in the U.S. was at $213,800 (SAAR) in February 2016, up 8.2% SAAR over January 2016. In comparison, the Ada County median sales price was at $206,215 (SAAR) in February 2016, down 2.8% SAAR from January 2016, but up year-over-year 7.2% SAAR. In Canyon County, the median sales price was at $139,077 (SAAR), up 2.9% SAAR compared to January 2016, and up 7.5% SAAR compared to February 2016.

There will always be more volatility in the national numbers as they aggregate all markets. Yet despite seasonal ups and downs, the overall trend for closed sales and median sales price has gone up over the past few years, both in our local market and across the U.S. While national statistics are great for bench marking, local statistics are best for consumers looking for information specific to their situation.

Visit boirealtors.com/category/market-info for more local insights, or speak to a REALTOR®.

NOTE: The figures in the NAR report include a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), not actual counts or averages, and highlight month-to-month figures. Also, these figures do not include newly construction properties. At BRR, we typically report actual counts or averages, and year-over-year trends. Seasonally adjusted figures and month-to-month comparisons are helpful in gauging the pace of the market as it moves through the usual, annual cycle. In order to draw comparisons to NAR’s report, local numbers have been seasonally adjusted and will therefore differ from those that were reported in our most recent local market report. However, the overall trends remain the same.