Average price decreased for the first time since November-to-December, dropping from the ridiculous $1,334,544 posted in February back below $1.3M to $1,299,984; a drop of 2.6%. Maybe this is a sign of things to come, or maybe this is simply a bump in the road. But if you consider that the average home price in November of last year was $1,163,323, and in three months, it increased to 14.7%, then surely, we knew this couldn’t continue, right? If anything, this “drop” merely happened one month sooner than I figured it would. Year-over-year, we saw an 18.5% increase from the $1,097,351 posted in March of 2021 to $1,335,544, but that trails the 28.6% and 27.7% year-over-year figures from January and February, so look to see if the media tells the true story here, since the prices are up big year-over-year, but at a declining rate.
Sales increased 20.4% month-over-month from 9,097 in February to 10,955 in March, but while that sounds significant, we must recall the argument against “absolute figures” with respect to average price in the section above, and then consider that the month-over-month increase from January-to-February was 64.5%. So again, we’re moving ahead, but not nearly at the same rate. Not only that, the year-over-year data is eye-popping, as that 10,955 sales figure, otherwise a big number for the month of March, was down, 29.9% from the 15,628 sales recorded in March of 2021. Granted, that was a record, and, as luck would have it, March of 2022 is the third all-time. But wow, what a drop from 2021!
New listings also increased at what looks like a significant amount, moving from 14,147 in February to 20,038 in March, good for a 41.6% increase in an inventory-starved city! But again, new listings moved by 77.3% from January-to-February, so our momentum is waning. When we look at the year-over-year data, it takes the theme from the points above and turns it right around, since new listings actually declined year-over-year, from 22,747 in March of 2021 to the aforementioned 20,038 this year. That’s a modest 11.9% drop, but very important in the context of the overall market.
Active listings figures traced new listings figures very closely last month, but consider that these are two very different data points. New listings are obviously the number of new listings, duh. But active listings refers to the number of properties available for sale at the end of the month, meaning that an increase or decrease in active listings, relative to new listings, points to a lower or higher absorption rate. Last month, active listings increased by 45.6%, from 6,985 in February to 10,167 in March. Year-over-year, we saw a 4.1% decline, from 10,603 in March of 2021 to 10,167 in March of 2022. That’s because the absorption rate dropped from 69.0% in March of 2021 to 54.7% in March of 2022. Is it possible that, as crazy as the market is last month, market conditions were even tighter in March of 2021? That’s what the numbers are saying!
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