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February Market Update

Mid-Atlantic Market Key Finding

Higher Rates Subdued the Ramp Up to the Spring Market
Prices Continue to Rise as Buyers Encounter Low Supply

It looked like housing market activity in the Mid-Atlantic had bottomed out in January, but the rebound was bumpy in February as higher mortgage rates dampened demand. The number of new pending sales increased between January and February, but the monthly uptick was smaller than what is typically seen leading up to the spring market.

Rising mortgage rates created headwinds in the market. However, low inventory also continues to be a constraint on sales activity. Inventory has expanded for 10 months in a row, but despite that increase, the number of active listings across the Mid-Atlantic at the end of February was still about half of what it was three years ago. The number of new listings in February was at a low of more than two decades.

Buyers are moving more deliberately, but even as homes are taking longer to sell, home prices are still being pushed up due to the still-low inventory. The median home price in the Mid-Atlantic rose 2.9% compared to a year ago and is now 20% higher than it was three years ago.

Market Outlook

Higher mortgage rates and economic uncertainty have subdued the ramp up to the spring market across much of the Mid-Atlantic. Mortgage rates had begun to fall at the beginning of the year, but rates moved upward in February, and economic data suggests they may move higher in the weeks ahead.

While the road may be bumpy, it is expected that housing market activity will pick up in March and April. Although there will be fewer buyers than there were a year ago, there will also be a shortage of sellers. As a result, home prices across much of the Mid-Atlantic will continue to rise throughout the spring.

Barbara Watkins, 410-310-2021 (C)
Benson and Mangold Real Estate, 410-822-1415 (O)
email: [email protected]