The housing market in the United States has been a hot topic for years, and 2023 was no different. With a plethora of data available, it’s crucial to sift through the numbers and understand the trends that shaped the market. One way to do this is by focusing on specific regions, such as Pinellas County in Florida, to see how they compared to the national averages.
In 2023, Pinellas County saw a significant increase in active listings, jumping up by 29% from 43,158 in 2023 to 55,590 in January 2024. Time on the market also increased by 20%, going from 45 days in 2023 to 54 days in 2024. This rise in active listings and time the market might suggest a cooling of the market, potentially leading to a more balanced market for Buyers and Sellers alike. However, other factors must be considered.
Pending sales in January 2024 were down by 4%, with 17,919 compared to 18,581 in January 2023. On the other hand, sold homes were up by 4%, with 10,321 in 2024 compared to 9,968 in 2023. These numbers could indicate a shift in demand or Buyer behavior, which could have implications for the overall health of the market.
The average sold price in Pinellas County was up by 6%, reaching $456,537 in 2024 compared to $430,578 in 2023. This increase in price might be due to various factors, including a lack of inventory, increased demand, or other economic factors.
Looking beyond Pinellas County, the national housing market also saw some interesting trends in 2023. The National Association of Realtors reported that more than 85% of metro markets registered home price increases in the fourth quarter of 2023. This was largely due to a drop in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate from 7.79% to 6.61%. The lower interest rates made homes more affordable for many Buyers, leading to increased demand and higher prices.
Despite the overall positive trend, there were some areas that saw declines in home prices. In the fourth quarter, less than one-fifth of markets experienced home price declines, down from 17% in the third quarter. This could be a sign of a more balanced market, with prices stabilizing or even declining in some areas.
Housing affordability was another important factor in 2023. While the declining mortgage rates made homes more affordable for many buyers, there were still challenges for first-time buyers. Families typically spent 26.1% of their income on mortgage payments, down from 26.7% in the previous quarter but up from 24.2% one year ago. This could make it difficult for some families to afford a home, especially in high-cost markets. Overall, 2023 was an interesting year for the housing market in the United States. While there were some challenges, such as declining affordability and inventory shortages, there were also opportunities, such as low-interest rates and increasing home prices. As we move into 2024, it will be interesting to see how these trends continue to evolve and what they mean for buyers and sellers alike.
If making a move in 2024 is on your mind! make sure you call Price Group Realtors at Coldwell Banker we can guide you through this shifting market and offer some sound advice to keep your goals on track.