Home Prices and Sales Show Steady Growth

Thursday, February 16, 2017 — The median home sale price increased 7.0 percent in January to $261,100, continuing a trend of steady annual growth. Home sales were up as well, increasing 5.6 percent compared to last year despite mortgage rate uncertainty and a continuing inventory crunch.

Housing inventory fell 12 percent compared to last January — the largest annual drop in the number of homes for sale since April 2013. The abysmal supply situation was due in part to a 5.1 percent annual decline in new listings. But last month was also the fastest January on record since Redfin began tracking this measure in 2010. The typical home sold in 59 days, seven days faster than last year and two weeks faster than January 2015.

“Buyers jumped through three hurdles last month: rising prices, low inventory and a fast market,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Sellers, however, are still warming the bench as the supply picture looks weaker than demand. This was the first January in three years in which new listings fell short of the previous year.”

The national trends of strong home sales and price growth last month were primarily driven by affordable metros. Home sales increased more than 26 percent in Lakeland, Florida, Poughkeepsie, New York, and Memphis Tennessee, all of which had a median sale price in January below the national median of $261,100.

The top 10 metros with the strongest price growth all had median sale prices below $300,000 — less than a third of the median sale price of $1.03 million in San Francisco — the most expensive of the 90 markets Redfin tracks. In fact, the Bay Area’s high-priced markets all saw home sales decline. Sales were down 8.6 percent since last year in San Jose, 7.4 percent in San Francisco and 1.3 percent in Oakland.

“I’m working with several California transplants right now, most of whom are relocating from the Bay Area to take advantage of the affordable housing here,” said Kelly Money, a Redfin real estate agent in Phoenix. “Many of them work remotely for tech companies, but want to own a home and raise their families here. I’ve even helped a few buyers planning to relocate here and commute to the Bay Area. The cost of their mortgage plus weekly airfare is still more affordable than buying a home in San Francisco. It’s a wild idea at first, but when people see they can get 3,000 square feet, a backyard and a swimming pool for less than the rent on their studio apartment, it starts to make sense.”

Other January Highlights


Denver, CO, was the fastest market, with half of all homes pending sale in just 23 days, down from 43 days from a year earlier. Seattle, WA, and Oakland, CA, were the next fastest markets with 26 and 27 median days on market, respectively, followed by Grand Rapids, MI (29), and Fresno, CA (32).

Prices were most likely to escalate in San Jose, CA, where 48.8% of homes sold above list price, followed by 48.5% in Oakland, CA, 47.7% in San Francisco, CA, 37.3% in Seattle, WA, and 34.4% in Tacoma, WA.

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 17% since last year to $233,995.
Cleveland, OH, had the second-highest growth at 15.4% year-over-year price growth, followed by Cincinnati, OH (15%), Salt Lake City, UT (14.9%), and Ogden, UT (14.3%).

Two metros, Baton Rouge, LA (-6.4%), Allentown, PA (-2.8%), saw year-over-year price declines in January.

Thirty-three out of 90 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Lakeland, FL, led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 28.7%, followed by Poughkeepsie, NY, up 28.0%. Memphis, TN, rounded out the top three with sales up 26.1% from a year ago.

Columbia, SC, saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 65.0%. Home sales in Grand Rapids, MI, and Buffalo, NY, declined by 14.3% and 9.9%, respectively.


Buffalo, NY had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 39.8% since last January. Portsmouth, NH (-35.2%), Rochester, NH (-34.7%), and Omaha, NE (-34.6%), also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.

Provo, UT, had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 33.7% year over year, followed by San Jose, CA (17.0%), and Raleigh, NC (16.7%).

Below are market-by-market breakdowns for prices, inventory, new listings and sales for metros with populations of 1.5 million or more. For downloadable data on all of the markets Redfin tracks, visit the Redfin Data Center.

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