Home Prices, Values Continue To Soar: Breaking Down January Data

The U.S. housing market started 2021 with a burst of intensive sales activity, according to a pair of newly published data reports.

Prices Keep Rising: Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN) is reporting the national median home sale price in January was $330,500, a 14% year-over-year increase and just under the peak annual spike of 14.5% recorded in July 2013.

Median prices increased from last year in all 85 of the metro areas tracked by Redfin, ranging from the mild 3% uptick in San Francisco to the robust 29% ascent in Camden, New Jersey.

Closed home sales were up 20% from a year earlier and pending sales were up 37%, but new listings fell 6% and active listings plummeted by 24% to their lowest level record during January.

Last month also marked the largest year-over-year drop on record for active listings and the 18th consecutive month of declines.

“The imbalance between supply and demand reached a new high in January,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

“Buyers were eager to make offers and make them quickly to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates while they last. But many homeowners who want to move feel stuck with limited options of homes to move to, frustrated about homes finding buyers within hours of hitting the market and defeated after repeatedly losing out in bidding wars.”

Home Values Heat Up: Separately, Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) reported U.S. home values in January were up by 9.1% from one year earlier, the fastest pace of annual appreciation since June 2006.

The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) rose to $269,039 in January, up 1.1% from December and matching December’s all-time record for monthly growth in data reaching back to 1996.

Looking deeper into 2021, Zillow economists predict home values will grow 10.1%, while existing home sales are expected to total 7 million, a nearly 25% increase over 2020.

Home values were up in all 50 metros tracked by Zillow, ranging from San Francisco’s 5.3% to Phoenix’s 17.1%.

Phil Hall