If you pay attention to your Altos data, you’ll know that the housing market bottoms between the second and third week of January every year, like clockwork. You’ll also know that one of my favorite leading indicators of home prices for the year is the median price of the New Listings. Each week we track all the properties that got listed for sale. The prices of those properties are a marvelous “wisdom of the crowds” example. Realtors, in aggregate, know exactly where to price homes.
This year we have a few notable points in the data.
- The housing recovery is marching into its FOURTH year after bottoming January of 2011.
- We’re starting the year 12% above last year at this time. In past years, this early indicator carries around the same level through the whole year.
- The first weekly uptick is strong, seasonal, and expected. No sign yet of higher mortgage rates or new qualification requirements hurting home prices.
New Listings are the first of the pricing indicator dominoes to fall. Look for the headlines to catch on to spring strength in April or May.