Zillow’s Matthew Speakman on the state of inventory

Today’s HousingWire Daily features an interview with Zillow Economist Matthew Speakman. In this episode, Speakman discusses the latest existing home sales report, which indicates that existing home sales fell 6.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Speakman also dives into what factors may have contributed to this slowdown, as well as what homebuyer demand and inventory levels mean for the housing market going forward.

Here’s a brief summary of HousingWire’s coverage of the existing home sales report:

Rising home prices, limited inventory and the uptick in mortgage rates continued to deter some homebuyers last month as sales of existing homes fell 6.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $313,000, up 15.8% from Feb. 2020, as prices rose in every region. February’s national price jump also marked 108 straight months of year-over-year gains — that’s nine years of home prices not backing down.

Compared to one year ago, median home prices increased in each of the four major regions. Feb. 2021 saw the median price rise by 20.5% in the Northeast, up 14.2% in the Midwest, up 13.6% in the South and up 20.6% in the West compared to Feb. 2020.

National Association of Home Builders Chairman Chuck Fowke noted that inventory shortages and high demand have caused lumber prices to jump “about 200%” since April 2020, adding approximately $24,000 to the price of a new home.

“Though builders continue to see strong buyer traffic, recent increases for material costs and delivery times, particularly for softwood lumber, have depressed builder sentiment this month,” said Fowke. “Policymakers must address building material supply chain issues to help the economy sustain solid growth in 2021.”

HousingWire articles covered in this episode:

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HousingWire Daily

Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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