Housing demand across the major U.S. metro areas fell in February to the lowest point in a year, as a chronic shortage of supply discouraged potential buyers from actively house hunting, according to a Redfin report released Tuesday.
The Redfin Housing Demand Index, which tracks buyers’ activity in touring and making offers on homes across 15 U.S. metros, dropped to 110 in February, a 6.5% decrease from the 117 recorded a year ago.
A level of 100 represents the Index’s three-year average for the period from January 2013 to December 2015.
At the metro level, Boston (161) and Seattle (141) had the strongest housing demand, with Boston actually reporting a higher reading in February than in January. Chicago (81) and Baltimore (86) had the lowest readings in February.
February’s overall reading, the lowest since March 2017, fell 14.1% compared to January’s 137, the largest month-over-month decline on record since Redfin began compiling the index in January 2015.
Housing demand was crimped by ongoing supply constraints, according to Pete Ziemkiewicz, Redfin’s head of analytics.
“We’ve started off each of the past three years with inventory down double-digits from the year before, which has held back buyer activity until enough new listings hit the market to get the offers flowing in the spring,” he said in the report.
Housing supply has declined for 33 consecutive months across the 15 metros Redfin , with 13.6% fewer homes for sale in February than a year earlier, according to the report.
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