US Existing Home Sales Rise to One-Year High in February

U.S. existing home sales increased to a one-year high in February as supply improved, a trend that together with retreating mortgage rates could support activity during the spring selling season.

Home sales jumped 9.5% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million units, the highest level since February 2023, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday. The monthly increase in sales was also the largest since February 2023. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home resales would fall to a rate of 3.94 million units.

Read more from Reuters.

Pending Home Sales Improved In February

Pending home sales increased in February as inventory loosened up and buyers became accustomed to the high-rate environment.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose by 1.6% month-over-month to a reading of 75.6 last month. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

Year-over-year, they were down 7%.

“While modest sales growth might not stir excitement, it shows slow and steady progress from the lows of late last year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Ongoing job gains are clearly increasing demand along with more inventory.”

Read more from The Mortgage Note.

Philly Is the 7th Most Sought-After Renting Hub

Rental activity is booming in Philly, which entered RentCafe’s top 10 most sought-after places for renters for the first time ever in February, landing in the seventh spot.

Philly earned an overall rental score of 71.2 out of 100 based on the availability of apartments, page views, apartments saved as favorites and saved personalized searches.

The city climbed an impressive 42 places since January and saw a significant 189% increase in page views, a 3% increase in favorited listings and a 46% surge in saved searches on

Read more from the PA Association of Realtors.

Nepo-Homebuyers: More Than One-Third of Gen Z and Millennial Homebuyers Plan to Use Family Money For Down Payment

More than one-third (36%) of Gen Zers and millennials who plan to buy a home soon expect to receive a cash gift from family to help fund their down payment. 

That’s according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in February 2024. The nationally representative survey was fielded to 3,000 U.S. homeowners and renters. 

Young homebuyers are also receiving help from family members in other ways. Roughly one in six (16%) Gen Zers and millennials say they’ll use an inheritance to help fund their down payment, and 13% plan to live with their parents or other family members.

Read more from Redfin.

Approximately 28% of Pennsylvania Homes Are Paid Off

Twenty-eight percent of owner-occupied homes in Pennsylvania are paid off, which is above the national rate of 27.7%, according to an analysis by Construction Coverage using U.S. Census data.

For older homeowners nationwide, this number is even higher. Nearly 63% of owner-occupied housing units are paid off by homeowners ages 65 and older. The majority of people who do not have their homes paid off (over 72%) may be left more vulnerable during periods of economic turmoil than those who have paid for their homes in full.

Read more from the PA Association of Realtors.

Baby Boomers Dominate Homeownership, Especially in PA

Older Americans continue to dominate homeownership with 53.6% of current homeowners being baby boomer age, according to an analysis by Construction Coverage using U.S. Census Bureau data.

The 55 and older cohort has dominated homeownership for years. At the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, Americans in this group owned 44.3% of homes. In 2021, that percentage had increased to 54.2%. In 2022, homeownership for those 55 and older finally decreased, albeit slightly, to 53.6%. Homeowners under 35 made up 12.2% and homeowners ages 35-54 made up 34.2%.

Pennsylvania had the 12th most baby boomer homeowners by state with 39.4% of homeowners being boomers (1,440,431 boomer-owned households). 

Read more from the PA Association of Realtors.

The Pandemic-Driven Migration Boom Is Waning, With the Share of Homebuyers Relocating at Lowest Level in 18 Months

The share of U.S. homebuyers looking to move to a different metro area declined for the third straight month in November, dropping to 23.9%, the lowest share in a year and a half. That’s down from 24.1% a year earlier–a tiny drop, but the first annual decline in Redfin’s records–and down from a record high of 26% over the summer.

The data in this report is based on the searches of about 2 million users who viewed for-sale homes online across more than 100 metro areas from September 2023 to November 2023. Redfin’s records go back through 2017. Scroll down for the full methodology. 

Read more from Redfin.

We hope you enjoyed this week's Market News. For more information about how we can help you, please contact us.

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Information and analysis is obtained through third parties and is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. Philadelphia Mortgage Advisors is a licensed mortgage lender by the PA Dept. of Banking and Securities, NJ Dept. of Banking & Insurance, the State of DE, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and MD Mortgage Lender #23004. NMLS #128570.