Home Sales Slip, Prices Remain Strong

RE/MAX National Housing Report on 52 Metro Areas

PR Newswire

DENVER, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After 28 months of year-over-year increases in home sales, November saw a 7.8% drop. The housing market appears to be making expected seasonal adjustments, as the recovery is simultaneously impacted by a combination of factors - rising interest rates, the government shutdown, mortgage qualification difficulties, severe weather and seasonality. Mostly due to a still tight supply of homes for sale, the November median home price of $187,000 rose 13.7% over the price in November 2012. With the current rate of home sales, the number of months necessary to sell the entire inventory, or the Months Supply, inched higher to 5.4 months, very close to the 6.0 supply that defines a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The national inventory situation continues to move in the right direction. The current 12.9% drop in inventory from November 2012 is less than half the annual inventory loss seen in April of this year.

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"In a month when we normally expect home sales to slow down, this November we've seen more than seasonality at play.  While the fundamentals for a housing recovery remain in place, the market never moves in a straight line.  Along the way, we should expect some fluctuations resulting from a number of different factors," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.  

Transactions – Year-Over-Year Change
The November RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metro areas, found a 15.9% monthly decrease in sales, and a 7.8% decrease from sales in November last year. A number of unrelated factors contributed to the change in direction, which broke a 28 consecutive month increase in year-over-year home sales. Of all 52 metro areas surveyed in November, only 9 reported higher sales than in November 2012, including: New York, NY +25.8%, Raleigh and Durham, NC +10.2%, Nashville, TN +4.0%, Tulsa, OK +3.4%, Cleveland, OH +3.4%, Honolulu, HI +2.6%, and Chicago, IL +0.4%. 

Median Sales Price
The Median Price of all homes sold in November was $187,000. This price represents a 3.9% increase from October and a 13.7% rise from November 2012. The Median Price of a home has been greater than in the same month of the previous year for 22 consecutive months. Although home prices are significantly higher than one year ago, increases are mostly the result of low inventory and high demand. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in November, 43 reported higher sales prices than one year ago. Of those, 16 metro areas reported double-digit increases, including: Las Vegas, NV +28.6%, Atlanta, GA +27.2%, Fargo, ND +24.9%, San Francisco, CA + 21.4% and Orlando, FL +20.4%.

Days on Market – Average of 52 Metro Areas
For all homes sold in the 52 markets surveyed in November, the average number of Days on Market was 68. This is just two days higher than the average seen in October, but is 14 days lower than the average seen in November 2012.  November marks the 18th consecutive month with an average Days on Market below 90. A low Days on Market average, like November's 68, is the direct result of continued high demand and a reduced inventory of homes for sale. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed. 

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 52 Metro Areas
A low inventory environment has characterized the housing market for several months. However, recent year-over-year inventory losses are significantly less than what was reported earlier this year or in 2012. With a 12.9% drop in inventory from last year, November's resulting Months Supply of homes for sale rose slightly to 5.4. Extremely low Months Supply remains in some key markets, such as: San Francisco, CA 1.3, Denver, CO 2.2, Los Angeles, CA 2.7, Honolulu, HI 3.1, Washington, DC 3.1, Seattle, WA 3.2 and San Diego, CA 3.3.

Contact
For specific data in this report or to request an interview, please contact (303) 796-3405 or shaunwhite@remax.com.

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Description
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 52 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Definitions
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month.  Month's Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month.  Where "pended" data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions.  Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median price of all residential properties sold during the month.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices.  While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed.  MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time.  Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period's data to ensure accuracy over time.  All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.

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