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Housing Supply vs. Home Sales

It’s a record-setting year for the housing market with pricing and inventory reaching new realms. RE/MAX reported in its National Housing Report that prices have climbed to record highs while inventory has fallen to record lows.

The national median sales price reached an all-time record high for the nine years RE/MAX has kept track, climbing 5.1 percent over the year to $258,500. RE/MAX did, however, point out that June has charted the highest median prices of the year for each of the past five years.

Meanwhile, home sales are on the decline, falling 5.5 percent over the year in June in the 54 metros RE/MAX tracks. It was the seventh month in a row that home prices declined year-over-year.

While prices continue their steady incline, it is inventory that is concerning Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX.

Contos harbors a positive outlook on the price gains, saying, “Year-over-year prices have been climbing for more than two years now, which is great news for homeowners and sellers.”

Contos suggested declining sales are not driven by rising prices. Instead, “The slower sales figures we’re seeing are tied to inventory more than anything else,” he said.

“Lack of inventory has become a theme for the year,” Contos said.

As of June, the housing market held 2.7 months’ supply of inventory, up from 2.5 months’ supply in May but down from 2.8 month’s supply a year ago. This is well below the six months’ supply that indicates a balanced market.

The metros experiencing the least amount of housing supply are San Francisco, California, with 1.2 months’ supply; Salt Lake City, Utah, with 1.3 months’ supply; Boise, Idaho, with 1.4 months’ supply; and Denver, Colorado, also with 1.4 months’ supply.

With supply so low, inventory is flying off the market. The average number of days a home sold during the month of June spent on the market was 42 days. Home sold four days faster than in May and five days faster than in June 2017, according to RE/MAX’s data.

Homes sold fastest in Seattle, Washington, where they spent just 17 days on market (DOM). Other markets where homes sold the fastest were San Francisco, California (20 DOM), Denver, Colorado (21 DOM), and Omaha, Nebraska (22 DOM).

Homes spent the most days on market in Augusta, Maine (97 DOM), Miami, Florida (76 DOM), Hartford, Connecticut (73 DOM), and New York, New York (72 DOM).

The number of transactions closed was down 5.5 percent compared to last year but was up 5.4 percent from May. Just seven of the 54 markets tracked experienced increases in home sales transactions over the year, including Omaha, Nebraska (6.6 percent), Burlington, Vermont (4.9 percent), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2.5 percent), and Augusta, Maine (1.5 percent). 

The majority of the 54 metros also contributed to that record-high median sales price in June with 52 metros charting price gains. The two outliers were Billings, Montana, where prices slipped 0.6 percent, and Anchorage, Alaska, where prices dipped 0.4 percent.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing industries since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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