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Good News for Sellers: Listings Sell Faster despite Weak Sales

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sold_sign_model_homeDespite weak demand and an infusion of new listings over the past two months, listings are selling nearly as fast as a year ago and prices are still rising. Realtor.com reported recently that in April the total U.S. for sale inventory of single family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops rose by 8.56 percent over March, from 1,841,844 units in March to 1,999,548 units in April. As a result, the median age of the inventory dropped by 15.69 percent over the month, although it remains 6.17 percent higher than it was a year ago. Yet the median list price rose significantly over the month, from $199,900 to $207,500 despite soft demand. On a year-over-year basis, the median list price and the size of the for-sale inventory were up by 6.46 percent and 14.21 percent, respectively.

NAR reported that, with little inventory relative to demand, in April properties sold faster for the fifth straight month. Listings typically sold in 48 days compared to 55 days in March, falling to nearly the same level as 43 days a year ago.  NAR’s monthly survey of REALTORS® found that short sales were on the market for the longest, at 96 days (112 in March), and foreclosed properties were on market at 56 days (55 days in March). Non-distressed properties were on the market at 45 days (53 days in March). Conditions varied across areas. Approximately 41 percent of respondents reported that properties were on the market for less than a month when sold, and about 6 percent were on the market for more than six months.

The monthly RE/MAX report found that the Months’ Supply of inventory fell to 3.9, where a supply of 6.0 indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The rate of year-over-year inventory reductions continued to shrink in April, ending the month with a level that was just 5.0 percent lower than one year ago. However, with a 1.9 percent monthly increase, April was the first time in 12 months that there was an inventory increase from the previous month. At the rate of home sales in April, there was a 3.9 Months Supply of inventory, down from 4.1 in March.

Tightest markets, according to the RE/MAX report, were Denver, CO (0.4 months’ supply), San Francisco, CA (1.2), Houston, TX (2.0), Boston, MA (2.1), Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (2.1), Seattle, WA (2.2), San Diego, CA (2.3), Washington, DC (2.3).

For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com.

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