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High Prices, Low Inventory: How are Home Sales Keeping Up?

On Monday, the October RE/MAX National Housing Report released, revealing that September marked the fifth month in 2017 to post a decline in home sales. Additionally, the reported noted that this marks the 71st consecutive month of rising sale prices year-over-year.

The data shows that joining February, April, July, August, and September data, home sales dropped 4.2 percent year-over-year in the report’s monthly analysis of housing data in 54 metro areas—whilst median sales prices increased to $225,000.

Although, “the lowest price since March, it was 2.3 percent higher than September 2016.” In addition, the report revealed that the last month home prices didn’t increase year-over-year was October 2011.

The report also noted significant changes in the most recent data. Days on the market declined by one week, from 56 in September 2016 to 49 in September 2017. In addition, the month’s supply of inventory is the lowest—at 3.6—compared to any September in the report’s history.

According to Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO, the market is not seeing any relief from the nationwide housing shortage as the typically slower fall and winter selling seasons approach.

“Plain and simple, we need more homes, particularly at the entry-level price point,” Contos said. “Until then, it will most likely continue to be a seller’s market with homes going from listed to sold quickly.”

Based on the rate of home sales in September, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 3.6 from August 2017 at 3.1, compared to September 2016 at 3.9.

According to RE/MAX, a 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In September 2017, 51 of the 54 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market.

Year-over-year, inventory dropped 14.1 percent—with 46 metro areas seeing fewer homes for sale. An alarming fact from the data is that “year-over-year, inventory has declined every month since November 2008.”  Click here to view the full report.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected]

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