Mixed Housing Market in January

There were positives and negatives for the US housing market in January.

Existing home sales (EHS) were down 1.7% year-over-year, and up 3.1% versus December 2023.

Housing inventory, a continual thorn in the market, appears to be replenishing. January averaged 3.0 months of inventory, up a tick from last year. If inventory were to continue increasing or even remain stable, that would be a nice win for the market. This is also important news, considering that the NAR (National Association of Realtors) just last week had said that new housing starts had “collapsed” for the month of January.

And while average mortgage rates were more attractive compared to year-end, they are a half-point or more higher than this time last year.

“While home sales remain sizably lower than a couple of years ago, January’s monthly gain is the start of more supply and demand. Listings were modestly higher, and home buyers are taking advantage of lower mortgage rates compared to late last year.”

Lawrence Yun
NAR Chief Economist

The US housing market plays an outsized role in how retail and service categories track in local markets. Follow ESA for updates on your local market.

Read the full news release at NAR.realtor:
Existing-Home Sales Rose 3.1% in January

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