Sales came in at near-record levels in October, according to the recently released RE/MAX National Housing Report—the second-most sales of any October in the nine-year history of the Report. Sales from this past October finished 1 percent below October 2015 (which posted the highest sales of any October since the recession), with declines seen in 28 of the 53 markets in the Report.
“Although October sales weren’t quite as robust as what we’ve tracked so far in 2016, it’s only the second month this year that didn’t exceed the strong levels set in 2015,” says Dave Liniger, RE/MAX co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board. “But finishing just 1 percent below October 2015 sales is still a very solid performance. It’s the 13th consecutive month of double-digit decline in inventory year-over-year, and that appears to have pushed prices up in all but one market.”
In the 53 metro areas surveyed in October, the average number of home sales decreased by 1.0 percent compared to one year ago, which marks the second month in 2016 with a decline. Despite a slight decrease in the number of transactions, this October is the second best in the history of the Report.
This month, less than half of the 53 metro areas surveyed experienced an increase in sales year-over-year, with Providence, R.I. seeing home sales unchanged and only one market seeing a double-digit increase. The markets with the largest increase in sales include Phoenix, Ariz. (+12.2 percent), Seattle, Wash. (+7.7 percent), Nashville, Tenn. (+6.9 percent), Milwaukee, Wis. (+6.2% percent), Boise, Idaho (+5.8 percent), and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., (+4.9 percent).
Median Sales Price
In October, the median of all 53 metro median sales prices was $216,500, down 1.6 percent from last month and up 8.3 percent from October 2015. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, all but one (Billings, Mont.) saw year-over-year increases, with 14 rising by double-digit percentages. The largest double-digit increases were seen in Miami, Fla. (+16.3 percent), Trenton, N.J. (+14.4 percent), Tampa, Fla. (+14.3 percent), Portland, Ore. (+13.7% percent), and Orlando, Fla. (+13.7 percent).
Days on Market
The average days on market—the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed—for homes sold in October was 58, up two days from the average in September 2016, but down four days from October 2015. October becomes the 43rd consecutive month with a days-on-market average of 80 or less. Similar to the past two months, the two metro areas with the lowest days on market are Omaha and Denver at 28 and 29 respectively. The highest days on market averages continue to be in Augusta, Maine, at 143, and Burlington, Vt., at 99.
Months Supply of Inventory
The number of homes for sale in October was down 6.7 percent from September, and down 15.9 percent from October 2015. Based on the rate of home sales in October, the months supply of inventory was 3.9, compared to last month at 3.9 and last year at 4.5.
A 6.0-month supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.
This month, only five metro areas reported a balanced market at 6.0 or above. The markets with the lowest months supply of inventory are San Francisco, Calif. at 1.4, Denver, Colo. at 1.5 and Seattle, Wash. at 1.6.
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