Headlines proclaim housing 'fixed' as pending home sales jumped 3.1% MoM in Feb (better than expected 2.0% gain), rebounding from a downwardly revised January collapse of 5.0%.
Bloomberg notes that while the month-over-month gain shows demand for housing is still getting support from steady hiring, the market is facing several headwinds. Buyers are up against a persistent shortage of affordable listings to choose from, property prices continue to climb, and mortgage costs are rising. What’s more, the Realtors group expects winter weather to weigh on demand in the Northeast.
However, on a non-adjusted basis, home sales are down 4.4% YoY.
“The expanding economy and healthy job market are generating sizeable homebuyer demand, but the miniscule number of listings on the market and its adverse effect on affordability are squeezing buyers and suppressing overall activity,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement.
“Homeowners are already staying in their homes at an all-time high before selling and any situation where they remain put even longer only exacerbates the nation’s inventory crunch,” he said.
The NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed the median tenure a homeowner stayed in their house before selling was 10 years, the highest in records back to 1981.