By type, sales fell 3.0% from January for single-family homes and plunged 9.2% for condos and co-ops. On a year-ago basis, sales were up 5.8% for single-family homes and 1.7% for condos and co-ops. Prices were up 8.2% from a year earlier for condos and co-ops and 7.6% for single-family homes. Inventory was down 10.6% y/y for condos and co-ops and down 11.6% y/y for single-family homes.
Inventory continues to be the big story right now. In February, there was only 3.8 months’ worth of supply available. While that was a slight up-tick from January, the 12-month moving average was just 4.3 months, down significantly from a couple years ago. One big reason that inventories are so low is that some people who bought homes at the peak of the bubble in 2006 still have not recuperated all of their losses, so they are reluctant to sell, choosing instead to wait for prices to go even higher. In addition, an improving economy has helped to open up job opportunities for many people, some of whom had to move. Thus, it could be that many people simply don’t want to or need to sell their home, even though prices have reached pre-crash peaks in some places.