Let's review the Reno-Sparks housing market activity, comparing residential sales from January to February 2017, and comparing year over year activity to February 2016.
According to the Reno Sparks Association of Realtors, the Median Sold Price for single family homes and condos in the Reno/Sparks area increased 4.5% from $286,000 in January to $298,943 in February. When we compare this price to a year ago, we see a 11.1% increase, validating a continued healthy market. While the year over year increases are beginning to impact affordability, it is important to note these increases are being fueled by sustainable economic growth and new jobs created by existing companies that are expanding in addition to many companies moving to our region.
The number of homes sold increased by 5.3% in February, with 438 sales versus 416 in January. Year over year, there was also a small increase of 1.2% in sales of single family homes and condos. The slow increase in sold units is due to the ongoing shortage of inventory.
There were 581 new listings on the market in February, which was a 26.6% increase from January. However, there was a 14.7% decrease in the number of new listings compared to February of last year. Current demand for homes continues to outpace the supply, especially in price ranges below $500,000, and we expect a seller’s market to remain until more homes are offered for sale in the region.
As we look at the Inventory numbers, there were 1,680 homes available for sale at the end of February, which was an 5.1% decrease from the 1,770 in January. Comparing year over year numbers, a 15.2% decrease in inventory was seen since February last year.
All this information allows us to calculate the Months Supply of Inventory. Overall, there was a 3.8 month supply of inventory in February. This was a 9.9% decrease from January, and is still in Seller’s Market territory. The year over year inventory comparison saw a decrease of 16.2%. The National Association of REALTORS considers 5 to 6 months of inventory to be a balanced housing market, where neither buyers nor sellers have a distinct advantage.
What does all this information mean to you, and why should it matter if you are a home buyer or seller? The lack of inventory and our region’s economic growth will continue to drive home prices higher. Although mortgage rates have crept up recently, we still have historically low mortgage rates, which will contribute to a steady stream of home buyers. As prices increase, concerns of affordability will continue to make headlines. If you are thinking about buying, now is the time to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and start your home search.