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For only the third month in 2015, November home sales were lower than sales one year ago, although the drop was just 1.4%. Over the last eight years, November sales have fallen an average of 12% from the previous month, but this year the drop was nearly double that amount at 22.6%. While prices remain higher than those in 2014, for the last three months the increases have been shrinking. This according to RE/MAX’s December 2015 National Housing Report, released this week.

According to the report, November’s median price of $200,950 was just 4.1% above the median price seen one year ago. The inventory of homes for sale remains a challenge in many metros across the country, at a level that averages 13.3% below November 2014. At the rate of home sales in November, the national Months Supply of inventory was 5.0, down from 5.6 in November 2014.

“Moderating prices help keep homeownership more affordable as we approach the end of a year that saw prices reach pre-recession levels in many markets,” saidDave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “Even with anticipated rate hikes, mortgage rates are near historic lows, which also helps home affordability. Many home buyers find better availability and affordability in the winter months, before the traditional spring buying season starts.”

Transactions Year-Over-Year Change
In the 53 metro areas surveyed for the November RE/MAX National Housing Report, the average number of home sales decreased 22.6% from sales in October, and were also 1.4% lower than the number of sales one year ago. Since January, year-over-year sales have increased an average of 4.6% each month.

For the last eight years, the average seasonal drop in sales from October to November has been 12.0%. In November, 25 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis, with only three experiencing double-digit increases.

Top Sales Increases
Augusta, ME +24.5%
Boise, ID +12.9%
Providence, RI +10.5%
Boston, MA +8.2%
Burlington, VT +7.4%
Baltimore, MD +7.3%

Median Sales Price
The Median Sales Price for all homes sold in the month of November was $200,950, down 0.5% from October. However, this was 4.1% higher than the median price in November 2014. For the first 11 months of 2015, the average price increase over the same month last year was 7.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for 46 consecutive months, but has been a smaller increase for three months in a row. Even though prices have been moderating, a low inventory supply continues to pressure prices. Among the 53 metro areas surveyed in November, 47 reported higher prices than last year, with six rising by double-digit percentages.

Top Price Increases
Des Moines, IA +15.1%
Denver, CO +13.0%
San Francisco, CA +12.5%
Tampa, FL +10.8%
Miami, FL +10.2%
Portland, OR +10.0%

Days on Market
In November, the average Days on Market for all homes sold was 65, up three days from the average in October, but six days lower than the average in November 2014. November becomes the 32nd consecutive month with a Days on Market average of 80 or less. In the two markets with the lowest inventory supply, San Francisco and Denver, Days on Market was 28 and 31 respectively. Only three metro areas had a Days on Market average of 100 or more: Trenton, NJ with 100, Des Moines, IA 101 and Augusta, ME 160. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory
The number of homes for sale in November was 8.3% less than in October and 13.3% less than in November last year. The average loss of inventory on a year-over-year basis for the first 11 months of 2015 is 12.1%. Based on the rate of home sales in November, the Months Supply of Inventory was 5.0, up from 4.5 in October but down from the 5.6 average in November last year. A 6.0 Months Supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The highest month supply was seen in Augusta, ME at 14.4.

Very Low Months Supply
San Francisco, CA 1.2
Denver, CO 1.6
Seattle, WA 1.8
Portland, OR 2.0

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