NAR: Southern home prices up nearly 13.6%

by Timothy Inklebarger

Home sales in the South experienced a one-month decline of 6.1% in February, but the rate was still 12.3% higher than a year ago, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

Homes in the South reached a median price of $271,200, up 13.6% from February 2020, according to the report.

Nationally, February saw a month-over-month decline of 6.6% for existing-home sales for a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million for the month. That’s 9.1% higher than last year.

“Despite the drop in home sales for February — which I would attribute to historically-low inventory — the market is still outperforming pre-pandemic levels,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in the press release. “I still expect this year’s sales to be ahead of last year’s, and with more COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed and available to larger shares of the population, the nation is on the cusp of returning to a sense of normalcy,” Yun said. “Many Americans have been saving money and there’s a strong possibility that once the country fully reopens, those reserves will be unleashed on the economy.”
The median price for all housing types jumped 15.8% from last year to $313,000, marking the 108th month of year-over-year gains, according to the report.

Yun said increasing inventory is “the best way to address surging home costs.”

The total number of units available, nationally, was down 29.5% from a year ago to 1.03 million units. The month’s supply of units has also dropped to two months in February, down from 3.1 months in February of 2020.

Properties are also still selling faster than last year, with the typical home taking 20 days to sell. That’s down from 36 days a year ago and down one day from January 2021.

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