Spring may have sprung early in the housing market. The U.S. median list price set a record high of $392,000 in February, according to realtor.com®’s Monthly Housing Trends Report. Many markets continued to post double-digit annual price gains, led by Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa, Fla., with annual increases of at least 31% each.
“Over the last five years, we have seen home prices break records early in the season as buyers try to get ahead of the competition,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “But this is the first time the record has been broken in February, signaling that competition is already heating up weeks before the start of the spring buying season in a typical year.”
The number of homes for sale remains at record lows. But home buyer demand remains high and home prices are surging as a result of competition for low housing inventories. Hale says a slight improvement has been made on the inventory front: February saw declines in new listings improve for the first time since November 2021. “Whether inventory continues to improve will depend on a variety of economic and geopolitical factors, including the conflict in Ukraine and mortgage rate hikes, which haven’t impacted home sales or price growth so far, but will increasingly lessen buyers’ purchasing power,” she says.