Home touring activity increased, mortgage-purchase applications are up and three Florida cities saw huge gains in new listings in the four weeks ending March 3, a new report showed.

WASHINGTON – New listings rose 13% year-over-year nationwide during the four weeks ending March 3, the biggest increase in nearly three years, the real estate brokerage firm Redfin reported. After eight months of declines, February is the first month the number of homes for sale has increased on an annual basis.  The new listings helped bring the total number of homes for sale up 1.7%.

At the same time, asking prices for new listings saw the smallest increases in about two months, Redfin found. Some 5.5% of sellers dropped their asking prices, the highest share of any February since at least 2015, Redfin reported. With high mortgage rates, the median monthly housing payment rose to $2,694 this week, just $23 shy of the all-time high. However, Redfin said final sale prices should start decreasing soon as price growth for new listings lose some momentum. 

Touring activity is up 23% from the beginning of the year and mortgage-purchase applications are up 11% week over week as spring approaches. Sales, however, have not increased yet. Pending sales are down 6% year over year.

“There have been two major obstacles for homebuyers over the last year: Low inventory and high housing costs,” said Redfin Economic Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Now, the first barrier is starting to come down as more supply comes on the market. Housing costs are still high, but they’re likely to come down a bit as mortgage rates gradually decline through the year and price growth loses some steam. Buyers who can afford today’s mortgage rates may have better luck finding a home now than they have in the past several months, and they also may be less likely to face competition because inventory is improving.”

Florida cities with biggest year-over-year increases in the four weeks ending March 3:

  • Fort Lauderdale saw a 13.9% jump in median sale prices.
  • Fort Lauderdale (25.4%) Jacksonville (24.1%) and Miami (24.1%) saw huge gains in new listings.

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Author: amyc