RE/MAX chief says housing market outlook looks positive

by Steve Randall18 Oct 2019

Home sales across the US in September posted their best year-over-year gain since November 2016.

The 8.1% increase in sales was widespread according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report with 47 of the 54 markets covered posting gains, however that led to a 6.1% decrease in inventory, the largest decrease in more than a year and the third month of decreases.

While the sales gain was the largest for the month of September since 2013, there was a larger-than-average 17% drop from August. Even this was better than a year earlier when uncertain interest rates saw a 24.4% drop from August to September.

"It was encouraging to see the improvement in September home sales, especially given how tough last September's results were," said RE/MAX Holdings CEO Adam Contos. "The market still poses some challenges for buyers – framed by rising prices and shrinking inventory – but we're moving into the fourth quarter on much better footing than we had a year ago. As we begin to lap the end of last year and its persistent sales declines, the housing market's momentum increases the chances of seeing more months of strong year-over-year gains in sales."

September's Median Sales Price of $254,500 was a year-over-year increase of 4.5%, which is in line with the year-over-year average gain of 4.9% for 2019's first nine months.

Metro stats
Closed Transactions

Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increases were Los Angeles, CA at +31.4%, Little Rock, AR at +24.2%, and Tulsa, OK at +22.1%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices

Five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Detroit, MI at +15.6%, Birmingham, AL at +15.3%, and Charlotte, NC at +11.8%. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price – San Francisco, CA at -2.1%, and Billings, MT at -0.5%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas

The average Days on Market for homes sold in September 2019 was 46, up one day from the average in August 2019, and equal to the September 2018 average.

The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 19, Cincinnati, OH at 26, and Nashville, TN at 28. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 98, Miami, FL at 91, and Hartford, CT at 79. 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 – Average of 54 metro areas

Based on the rate of home sales in September 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 3.2 compared to 3.0 in August 2019 and decreased compared to 4.2 in September 2018.

In September 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL at 7.5 and New York, NY at 6.3 reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer's market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Manchester, NH at 1.7 and Phoenix, AZ at 1.8.

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