Following lackluster numbers in January, existing-home sales should improve for February, according to online real estate marketplace Auction.com.
Auction.com's Real Estate Nowcast projects that existing-home sales for the month will fall between 4.89 million and 5.19 million annual sales on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a targeted number of 5.04 million.
Beginning this month, Auction.com says, it is expanding the coverage of its forecast to include pricing trends.
The February Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast suggests that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $191,649 and $211,718 during the month, with a targeted price of $201,077 – representing a 6% year-over-year increase.
‘The housing market continues to face strong headwinds – extraordinarily limited inventory, tight credit and, in some markets, problems with affordability,’ explains Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Auction.com. ‘A number of formerly red-hot California markets experienced declines in both pricing and sales volume in January, which suggests that some exceeded affordability thresholds.
‘On a national basis, we saw seasonal market challenges characteristic of the winter months, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Whatever the specific reasons, January didn't provide a roaring start for 2015 home sales,’ he says.
Peter Muoio, chief economist, adds, "The modest pacing in existing-home sales that we experienced last year has definitely continued in 2015, though we're now seeing signs that point toward improvement, such as consistent job growth, improved consumer confidence and emerging wage growth along with still low mortgage rates.
"Overall, we hope that a stronger national economy may provide a long-awaited boost to the market as this year progresses."