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.
Inventory continued to plummet, with the number of homes for sale down 31.8 percent year over year, helping home prices rise 13.2 percent in February. Despite surging homebuyer demand in the new year, the lack of supply has clearly put downward pressure on sales, which increased just 2.3 percent since last year. A big part of the problem is that when a home goes on the market, homebuyers are in a race to get their offers in and start a bidding war. In February, more than one-third of new listings went under contract within 14 days of their debut. In San Francisco and San Jose, CA 57 and 63 percent of homes, respectively, sold that quickly.
The key metrics across 19 major metropolitan markets are:
- Home prices were up 13% from a year ago and 2.4% month over month.
- Closed sales were up 2.3% from February 2012 and 0.7% from January.
- More than one-third of new listings are now going under contract within 14 days of their debut. Last month, 30.3% of homes sold that quickly. Redfin recently published a list of the country’s fastest real estate markets, highlighting “real estate flash sales,” homes that went under contract in 24 hours or less.
- Inventory fell 32% from last year, but picked up slightly (1.1 %) from January.
Sales Volume Picks Up Just a Bit from Last Year
Despite a jump in home tours and offers in the first two months of the year, home sales barely budged in February. This is due to the fact that especially in the markets in California, Denver, Washington, DC and Austin, a single home often attracts dozens of offers, yet only one buyer closes the deal.
Eleven of the 19 markets we track saw sales increase from a year ago, while nine increased between November and December.
February 2013 Changes in Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses Sold||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Home Prices Up from 2012 in All 19 Cities
Nationally, home prices in February were 13.2 percent higher than a year earlier. This is the eleventh month in a row that national prices have increased year-over-year. National prices also rose 2.4 percent month over month. Fifteen of the 19 metro areas that Redfin measures saw month-over-month increases in February, up from eight metros showing an increase in January.
This month, Phoenix and Sacramento led the pack in year-over-year price increases, gaining 30.3 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively. The smallest gains were in Long Island and Philadelphia, where prices increased 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
February 2013 Changes in Median $/Square Foot, Single-Family Homes
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median $/SqFt||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Inventory Falls 32% From 2012
Homeowners are still ignoring pleas from across the real estate industry, keeping inventory tight by waiting to list their homes. February came to a close with just over 158,000 total listings across the 19 metro areas covered by the report. Inventory has now been dropping year-over-year for 24 months in a row. If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, you may want to focus on the 1.1 percent month-over-month increase in inventory we saw in February.
February 2013 Changes in Number of Single-Family Homes for Sale
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses for Sale||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
More than One-Third of Homes Sold In Two Weeks Or Less
Thirty-four percent of homes listed in February went under contract within 14 days of their debut. That’s a four percent jump from last month’s rate of 30.3 percent, following the increasing trend predicted in the January Real-Time Home Price Tracker.
% of Listings Under Contract in 14 Days
|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.