After a brief dip in April home sales, the U.S. housing market returned to seasonally high sales in May, increasing 20.6 percent from April and 4.3 percent from the previous May, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.
“In May, we saw an uptick of both loan applications and home sales, which is encouraging in terms of more people getting into the market for homes,” says Adam Contos, RE/MAX co-CEO. “We don’t expect that the Federal Reserve’s announcement [last week] to raise interest rates a quarter of a point will greatly affect the market’s momentum, but housing demand only intensifies the tug of war with tight inventories driving prices up.”
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in May 2017, the overall average number of home sales increased 4.3 percent compared to May 2016. Thirty-nine of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year including Albuquerque, N.M., +20.8 percent, Tulsa, Okla., +13.4 percent, Las Vegas, Nev., +12.2 percent, Honolulu, Hawaii, +11.5 percent, and Phoenix, Ariz., +11.3 percent.
Median Sales Price
In May 2017, the median of all 53 metro median sales prices was $232,500, up 2.9 percent from April 2017 and up 3.6 percent from May 2016. Fargo, N.D., was the only metro area to see a year-over-year price decrease (-2.73 percent). Six metro areas increased by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Manchester, N.H., +13.2 percent, Seattle, Wash., +12.8 percent, Tampa, Fla., +12.8 percent, Las Vegas, Nev., +10.7 percent, and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, +10.7 percent.
Days on Market
The average days on market for homes sold in May 2017 was 51, down six days from the average in April 2017, and down seven days from the May 2016 average. The four metro areas with the lowest days on market were Omaha, Neb., at 20, San Francisco, Calif., at 21, Seattle, Wash., at 22, and Denver, Colo., at 23. The highest days on market averages were in Augusta, Maine, at 136, and Burlington, Vt., at 98. 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 May 2017 was down 0.6 percent from April 2017, and down 16.2 percent from May 2016. Based on the rate of home sales in May, the months supply of inventory was 2.6, compared to April 2017 at 2.8 and May 2016 at 3.0. This is the third month in a row months supply has been below 3.0. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In May 2017, 52 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market. At 6.1, Miami, Fla., was the only metro area that saw a months supply above 6.0, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest months supply of inventory continued to be in the West, with both San Francisco, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., at 0.9, and Denver, Colo., at 1.0 for the fourth month in a row.
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