The Redfin Real-Time Price Tracker is a monthly report on home prices, sales and inventory across 19 U.S. markets, published weeks before any other index, based on the local databases used directly by real estate agents to list properties and record sales.
Home sales got off to a strong start this year, rising 12 percent from a year ago and marking the strongest January in at least four years. Prices were up as well, 10 percent higher than January 2012, while listings continued to struggle, losing more than a third from last year’s already anemic level. Meanwhile, the percentage of homes that were under contract within two weeks of their debut shot up from 26 percent in December to 30 percent in January—the highest point since we began tracking this number in January 2010.
The key metrics across 19 major metropolitan markets are:
- Home sales fell 20% from December, but had the strongest January in at least four years, rising 12% from a year ago.
- Home prices in January increased 10% year over year, but fell slightly month-over-month, losing 2.5% from December (a dip in prices is common this time of year).
- The number of homes for sale declined 33.4% from January 2012 to January 2013 (slightly worse still than the 33.0% drop in December), and fell by 0.9% since December.
- After ten months in the 26%-27% range, the percentage of listings that were under contract within 14 days of their debut shot up to 30.3%.
Despite the fact that selection is still slim and has not yet shown any sign of making gains this year, buyers are already out in force. With January data this strong, it looks like we’re going to be in for a spring homebuying season even more hectic than last year.
Sales Volume Begins 2013 With Double Digit Gains Over 2012
Home sales dropped between December and January, as they always do. More importantly, sales shot back up to double-digit year-over-year gains, coming in 12 percent above 2012.
Fifteen of the 19 markets we track saw sales increase from a year ago. No markets saw a month-over-month gain in sales.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses Sold||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Home Prices Up from 2012 in 17 of 19 Cities
Nationally, home prices in January were 10.1 percent higher than a year earlier. This is the tenth month in a row that national prices have increased year-over-year. National prices fell again month-over-month, losing 2.5 percent from December. Eight of the 19 metro areas that Redfin measures saw month-over-month increases in January, up from seven metros showing an increase in December.
Phoenix and Las Vegas lead the pack in year-over-year price increases, gaining 31 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Long Island and Philadelphia both lost ground from 2012, dropping 1.9 percent and 0.3 percent.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median $/SqFt||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Inventory Starts the Year Down a Third From 2012
The selection of homes on the market shrank yet again in January as the total number of homes for sale fell 33.4 percent compared to a year earlier. Inventory has now been dropping year-over-year for 23 months in a row. The one silver lining in this month’s data is that the December to January drop was “only” 0.9 percent.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses for Sale||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Sudden Spike in Percent of Listings Selling Within Two Weeks
From January 1 through 27 (14 days before the data was collected), 30.3 percent of new listings were under contract in two weeks or less, a sudden jump of four percentage points over December. This number is likely to increase even more over the next few months, leading to an intense spring for homebuyers.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||% Sold within 14 Days of Debut|
About the Real-Time Home Price Tracker
Redfin’s monthly report on home prices, inventory levels and sales volume is an up-to-date, accurate portrait of the U.S. real estate market, coming weeks or months ahead of other market reports. As a broker with access to dozens of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) used by real estate agents to list properties and record sales, Redfin gets data within minutes of a sale, pending sale or listing activation, well before any government, media or analytics organization. Using MLS fields, Redfin is able to distinguish houses from condominiums and townhouses — which often sell for less money.
To validate the accuracy of the data and to account for sales not handled by a real estate agent, Redfin compares MLS data with county records as they become available, using sophisticated algorithms to identify and resolve disparities about square footage or price for each address. Full data may be downloaded in a spreadsheet, and the report methodology is available as an Adobe document.