Despite record low inventory, January home sales posted a 13.5% increase over a year ago. That followed four consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases of 19% to 22% on the heels of pandemic lockdowns.
January’s year-over-year increase in homes sold represented a sizable gain from the year before and was in line with the pre-COVID months of December 2019 (13.5%) and January 2020 (10.5%).
“January home sales started the year off with a bang despite the current shortage of homes for sale,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “January’s year-over-year sales increase wasn’t as pronounced as what we saw in the back half of 2020, but it was solid by any objective measure – and it signals that 2021 could be an historically good year for housing. Uncommonly low interest rates, the ascent of the millennial homeowner and the prospect of working from anywhere are converging to shape a housing market unlike any other. We could see mortgage rates begin to inch up soon, so now might be an ideal time for homebuyers and sellers to make their move and take advantage of the favorable conditions.”
Although the growth in sales moderated a bit, other key metrics showed the aftereffects of housing’s 2020 record-setting, second-half recovery:
Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics for January 2021 include:
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in January 2021, the overall average number of home sales is down 32.1% compared to December 2020, and up 13.5% compared to January 2020. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increases were San Francisco, CA at +38.5%, Anchorage, AK at +31.7%, and Wilmington/Dover, DE at +30.9%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In January 2021, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $285,000, down 1.7% from December 2020, and up +11.8% from January 2020. No metro area saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Forty-five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Boise, ID at +24.3%, Pittsburgh, PA at +21.3%, and Indianapolis, IN at +20.5%.
Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in January 2021 was 40, up three days from the average in December 2020, and down 19 days from the average in January 2020. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 18, Boise, ID at 19, and a two-way tie between Cincinnati, OH and Nashville, TN at 21. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 99, Miami, FL at 88, and Augusta, ME at 78. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in January 2021 was down 12.1% from December 2020 and down 35.7% from January 2020. Based on the rate of home sales in January 2021, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 1.7 compared to 1.9 in December 2020, and decreased compared to 3.5 in January 2020. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In January 2021, of the 53 metro areas surveyed, only one metro area, Indianapolis, IN at 9.8, reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were a two-way tie between Albuquerque, NM and Boise, ID at 0.5, and a four-way tie between Phoenix, AZ, Denver, CO, Seattle, WA, and Salt Lake City, UT at 0.6.
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The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 53 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Months Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median of the median sales prices in each of the metro areas included in the survey.
MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.