Spring may be blossoming, but the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors is still focusing on winter.
The trade group this week issued its monthly statistics on the Western New York housing market for February, with closed sales down, and inventory continuing to plummet. The good news for sellers: Prices were up.
The number of completed transactions fell 2.5 percent to 476 – the lowest level for any month in the past two years. But they were still up for the first two months of the year by 7.8 percent.
Pending sales – where a deal has been signed but not sealed – fell 0.7 percent to 708, the highest level for any month since October. But they’re down 2.9 percent for the year so far, to 1,356.
There was one good sign for home buyers: The number of new listings rose 1.9 percent to 1,181 in February, the first year-to-year increase in several months and one of the few such increases in the last 12 months.
Still, new listings so far this year are down 4.2 percent, and the total inventory of available homes for sale remains 17.2 percent lower than a year ago, at 4,403.
That’s the lowest level for any month in the last two years. At that rate, the supply will satisfy demand for only 5.3 months, down 24.3 percent.
That has created a scarcity factor, which generally means homes sell quickly, and bidding wars can drive prices up. Homes that sold in February had spent an average of 82 days on the market, down 17.2 percent from a year ago.
The median sales price in February rose 12.5 percent to $117,000, while the average was up 11 percent to $141,669.