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February Housing Stats - Dutchess County Associaton of REALTORS

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month. New Listings were down 16.6 percent to 306. Pending Sales increased 33.1 percent to 213. Inventory shrank 25.5 percent to 1,251 units. Prices were still soft as the Median Sales Price was down 15.2 percent to $215,000. Days on Market increased 1.1 percent to 181 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 38.2 percent to 5.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply. Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won't matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.