3/23/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy


Existing home sales drop 6.6 percent in February, but up 9.1 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  With inventory down nearly 30 percent year-on-year, there is even more pressure on more new homes to meet demand.

Existing-home sales fell 6.6 percent in February to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, but sales are still 9.1 percent higher than last year. The median existing-home sales price rose to $313,000, 15.8 percent higher from one year ago, with all regions posting double-digit price gains.  Unsold inventory sits at a 2.0-month supply at the current sales pace, slightly up from January’s 1.9-month supply and down from the 3.1-month year-on-year.


New Home Pending Sales Index drops 2.4 percent in February, but up 35.0 percent year-on-year

What does this mean? Low inventory for existing homes prompted buyers to push through higher mortgage rates to sign contracts for new construction.

The February New Home Pending Sales Index captured the continuation of a great spring selling season, falling 2.4 percent from January but rising 35.0 percent year-over-year nationally and led by Jacksonville, Cincinnati, and San Antonio.


Share of remote job postings have more than doubled during coronavirus

What does this mean? If this trend is permanent, it could lead to more sustained demand for larger homes outside of urban areas.

Remote job postings have doubled during the pandemic and continue to rise, increasing from 2.9 percent in January 2020 to 6.9 percent in February 2021.  Tech jobs are among the likeliest to be remote, but the remote share of postings increased most in therapy, finance, and law. During the pandemic, job postings rebounded first in sectors where work generally can’t be done remotely, like driving and manufacturing.

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