Final Look at Local Housing Markets in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/24/2023 09:56:00 AM

Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: Final Look at Local Housing Markets in February

A brief excerpt:

Every month I track about 40 local housing markets in the US to get an early sense of changes in the housing market. After the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) releases the monthly existing home sales report, I pick up additional local market data that is reported after the NAR (and I’m frequently adding more markets). This is the final look at local markets in March.

The big story for March existing home sales was the sharp year-over-year (YoY) decline in sales. Also, active inventory increased YoY, but is still historically low – and new listings were down YoY.

NAR vs Local Markets NSAFirst, here is a table comparing the year-over-year Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) declines in sales this year from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) with the local markets I track. So far, these measures have tracked closely. The NAR reported sales were down 23.0% NSA YoY in February.

Note: Even if existing home sales activity bottomed in December (4.03 million SA) and January (4.00 million SA), there are usually two bottoms for housing – the first for activity and the second for prices. See Has Housing “Bottomed”?

My early expectation is we will see a somewhat similar YoY sales decline NSA in April as in March. Even though mortgage rates were higher for contracts signed in March (closed sales in April will be mostly for contracts signed in February and March) sales were already declining in March 2022, as 30-year mortgage rates moved above 4% for the first time since early 2019 (yes, rates were below 4% prior to the pandemic).

More local data coming in May for activity in April!

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