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When the Homesellers’ and Buyers’ Markets Co-Exist

Home-sale prices rose 5.4% year-over-year in October to an average of $311,200 across the more than 200 metros Redfin tracks—the largest increase since July 2018.

Price rose from September 1.4% and is the largest month-over-month increase in October since at least 2012.

“Low mortgage rates are propping up homebuyer demand and juicing prices, said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “However, home sales have been slow to grow since there are so few homes for sale and not many new listings hitting the market, especially affordable ones. The market is split: It’s a seller’s market for moderately priced homes, but a buyer’s market for pricier homes.”

Redfin states that the affordable metro areas drove gains in nationwide median-home prices. For the fourth-consecutive month, the 10 metros with the largest gains all had median-sale prices below the national average. 

Camden, New Jersey, had a median price of $197,000, which is up 13.9%. Jacksonville, Florida, saw median-home prices rise 13.1% to $243,179, and Greensboro, North Carolina, saw median-home prices increase 10.5% to $178,500.  

Only one of the 85 largest metro areas tracked by Redfin—San Jose, California—saw an annual decline. Home prices fell 7.2%, as opposed to its 9.9% growth in 2018.

The number of homes for sale fell 3.6% from September to $818,200—a 9.1% year-over-year decline. Homes stayed on the market for 44 days, which is two days longer than the prior month. 

Inventory of homes for sale fell 9.1% year-over-year—the biggest decline since April 2017 and the fourth straight month of declines. There were fewer homes for sale in October than in any October since 2013. Twelve of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in inventory. 

Salt Lake City, Utah, reported the largest decline of homes for sale at 44.6%. 

Redfin reported home sales grew 1.1% annually in October, which is the third consecutive month of increase but down slightly from the month prior. 

Virginia Beach, Virginia, had the largest increase in home sales of 19.6%. Greensboro was close behind at 17.3%. 

Additionally, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that new-home purchases in October increased by 31.5% from a year earlier. New-home purchases rose 9% from September. 

"The new home sales market continues to be strong, reinforced by October's increase in applications for new home purchases. At an annual pace of 791,000 units, our estimate of new sales has reached its highest level since the inception of our survey in 2012," said Joel Kan, MBA's AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Homebuilder sentiment remains close to 18-month highs, and housing starts and permits have increased for four straight months. These are promising signs for the housing market, as the rise in new and existing housing supply has led to slower home-price growth and improving affordability." 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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