Bucking the traditional seasonal trend, home sales soared 5.4 percent in October over September and home sales were 17.8 percent higher than October 2011.The October RE/MAX National Housing Report found that for the sixteenth month in a row sales were higher on an annual basis than they were the previous year.
Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in October, 48 saw higher sales than one year ago and a record 40 saw double digit increases including: Providence, RI +48.0 percent, Chicago, IL +44.0 percent, Albuquerque, NM +39.3 percent, Burlington, VT +37.0 percent, Wichita, KS +32.2 percent, Nashville, TN +31.5 percent and Charlotte, NC +31.3 percent.
The October median home price also ended the month 2.1 percent higher than the median a year ago, for the ninth month in a row that prices have been higher than the same month last year. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed for the October RE/MAX National Housing Report, 92 percent or 48 metros reported higher prices than last year, with 18 seeing double-digit gains including: Phoenix, AZ +33.9 percent, San Francisco, CA +31.2 percent, Detroit, MI +26.3 percent, Boise, ID +24.7 percent, Miami, FL +22.0 percent, Seattle, WA +16.9 percent, and Tampa, FL +16.5 percent.
The number of homes for sale in October was 28.9 percent lower than last October. The number of homes for sale fell 6.3 percent from September and 28.9 percent from inventory levels seen in October 2011. Month-to-month inventories have now fallen for 28 consecutive months. Rising prices are a result of sharply declining inventories, but a low inventory also results in fewer closed transactions. With the rate of sales in October, the average Months Supply was 5.2 percent, two and a half months lower than the 7.7 percent average in October 2011. A low Months Supply continues to be seen in cities like San Francisco, CA 1.1 percent, Los Angeles, CA 1.5 percent, Orlando, FL 2.4 percent, Denver, CO 2.4 percent, Washington, DC 2.5 percent, Seattle, WA 2.6 percent, San Diego, CA 2.7 percent, Detroit, MI 2.7 percent and Miami, FL 2.8 percent. RE/MAX reported multiple offers and some bidding wars have occurred in markets where inventory is sharply lower.
The average Days on Market for homes sold in October was 82. This is just one day higher than the 81 day average in September, but 13 days less than the average of 95 seen last October. October represents the fifth time in the past 12 months that a Days on Market average was below 90, and it was the second lowest average since June 2010. The Days on Market average continues to fall in many markets due to very low inventory. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.
“As we enter the fourth quarter, 2012 is looking like the turn-around year for housing, with significant increases in sales and prices,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “However, we recognize that this recovery is still fragile and dependent on more reasonable lending and regulation. If qualified buyers can obtain mortgages and more inventory comes to market, this recovery could become even stronger next spring.”