Though September home sales were down 10.4 percent from August—an expected seasonal trend—September is the first month in 2014 in which home sales exceeded those one year prior, according to the latest National Housing Report from RE/MAX.
The firm found that home sales last month were 0.9 percent higher than in September 2013, which is no small feat, considering that 2013 was marked by double-digit growth in home sales nationwide.
On top of the higher sales numbers last month, the median sale price in the 52 metros RE/MAX surveyed was $195,000, 5.4 percent higher than in September 2013.
"It's significant that September was the first month this year to see higher sales than last year," said CEO Margaret Kelley. "This demonstrates that there are interested buyers and the market is strong enough to rival last year's brisk sales. While the change of seasons usually sees reduced sales, it's good to see that home prices continue to rise at a more sustainable rate."
The average days on the market for homes sold in September was 65, which matches last year, but is three days more than in August. This marked the 28th consecutive month in which the average days on the market came in below 90.
This also signifies low inventory of homes for sale. According to RE/MAX, inventory was 5.8 percent lower than last year, but leveled out nationally at 4.9 on a scale on which 6.0 means a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. Still, it was a steeper drop from August, when national inventory fell 4.4 percent. The latest shrinkage in inventory is the seventh in the last 10 months. The lowest inventories remain in San Francisco ( 1.6 on the 6.0 scale) and Denver (1.7 ).