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Why 2018 Might Be a Cruel Summer for Homebuyers

homebuyersRising prices notwithstanding, homes in May sold like hotcakes, this according to RE/MAX’s latest National Housing Report, which covers data from 54 U.S. metros. Crimped inventory and crushing demand from homebuyers slashed days on market (DOM) to 46, the second-lowest monthly amount in the report’s 10-year history, the report says.

May sales outdid April’s by 14.5 percent; they fell 2.8 percent from May 2017. The median sales price: $251,673, up 7.8 percent from May 2017 and 2.1 percent from April of this year. Eleven metro areas saw double-digit year-over-year percentage increases, the biggest in San Francisco, California, at 19.3 percent; Boise, Idaho, at 16.8 percent; Las Vegas, Nevada, at 16 percent; and Augusta, Maine, at 14 percent.

Homes sat on the market an average of five more days (51) in May 2017, 12 more (58) in May 2016, and 18 more (64) in May 2015. The metros boasting the lowest DOM were San Francisco and Seattle, Washington, at 19; Denver, Colorado, at 21; and Salt Lake City, Utah, at 25.

“Even with low inventory and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, homes are going from ‘for sale’ to sold 28 percent faster than three years ago,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.

As for closed transactions, 16 of the 54 surveyed metros reported a gain in year-over-year sales, including Burlington, Vermont, at 14.2 percent; Boise, at 11.3 percent; Trenton, New Jersey, at 7.7 percent; and Anchorage, Alaska, at 3.8 percent. 

What’s more, the number of for-sale homes in May marched ahead 4 percent from April but slipped 9.5 percent from May 2017. Based on this May’s home sales rate, months’ supply of inventory stayed flat from April at 2.5 months and contracted a tad compared to 2.6 months in May 2017.

This May, all 54 metros tallied months’ supply of inventory at or less than six months—a figure indicative of a seller’s market. Markets reporting the lowest months supply of inventory were San Francisco, at one month, and Boise, Denver, and Seattle tying at 1.1 months. 

Amid such a sizzling market, house shoppers should plan on competing with other would-be buyers when making an offer on a property, Contos advises. 

“Be prepared—that’s my message to potential homebuyers in this summer selling season,” he said. “Make sure you are pre-approved with a lender, try to make a clean offer with no contingencies, and, if possible, consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date.”

About Author: Alison Rich

Alison Rich has a long-time tenure in the writing and editing realm, touting an impressive body of work that has been featured in local and national consumer and trade publications spanning industries and audiences. She has worked for DS News and MReport magazines—both in print and online—since they launched.

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