In February, home sales increased only 0.6% from last year, marking the smallest annual increase since March 2012, according to new data from Redfin.
Redfin also discovered that U.S. home sale prices reached a median of $287,400, falling in 10 of the 85 largest metros the company tracks.
"When home prices are going up quickly, buyers feel like they are forced to move fast and purchase a home before prices rise even more,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “Now that home prices are growing slower than inflation, there really isn't much downside to taking your time.”
Overall, Fairweather said now that mortgage rates are no longer going up every week, buyers in many markets have the luxury of knowing that whether they buy now or later they will pay about the same for a home.
According to Redfin’s analysis, the number of homes newly listed for sale in February moderately increased 2.9% from the previous year.
Notably, the national number of completed home sales finally increased for the first time in seven months, pushing forward 1.9% from February 2018.
That being said, home sales fell in 41 of the 85 largest metro areas that Redfin tracks.
"Because homes are sitting on the market longer and the market is less competitive than last year, first-time homebuyers now have a better chance of winning a home," Fairweather said. "That could mean more potential buyers in the spring. Home sales are already rebounding this month, and that trend may continue now that the market is more balanced."