Mar 15, 2023 - Real Estate

Home prices and sales down in February

Illustration of an upside-down house forming a downward-pointing arrow.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

House sales continued to decline in February — marking the 11th straight month of declines — as single-family home prices fell for the first time since spring 2020.

Driving the news: February single-family home sales decreased by 25%, from 9,349 sales in 2022 to 6,981 sales in 2023, per a new report from the Houston Association of Realtors.

  • Yes, but: Sales were comparable to February 2019, which saw 6,436 sales.

What they're saying: HAR chair Cathy Treviño said the market is returning to pre-pandemic standards.

  • "The traditional year-over-year comparison shows a market slowdown, but even then, there are positive trends in the form of moderating prices and growing inventory that bode well for spring homebuying," Treviño noted in the report.

The big picture: Buyers are still grappling with the sharp rise in mortgage rates and inflation, but the pre-pandemic sale trends counter some of the dire predictions made last fall.

By the numbers: Average single-house prices declined 2.4% from last February to $385,103, while the median price went down 1.6% to $320,000.

  • Of note: Home prices are still more than 35% higher than they were in February 2019, when the average was about $285,000 and the median was $233,000, per HAR.
  • Flashback: Home prices reached a record average high of $438,294 in May 2022 and a record median high of $353,995 in June 2022.

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