Photo: Luke Price/Flickr
October proved to be a mixed bag for US home sales. While home sales recorded during the month were the second-highest of any October in the last nine years, the number of homes for sale in October was the lowest recorded during that same period, according to a new report published by RE/MAX today.
Home sales last month finished just 1 percent below October 2015’s record-setting sales figure, the highest of any October since RE/MAX began tracking home sales nine years ago. Sales decreases were recorded year-over-year in 28 of the 53 markets RE/MAX surveyed.
The national median sales price rose 8.3 percent to $216,500 in October, the largest year-over-year increase in 2016 so far. Double-digit price increases in 14 of the 53 surveyed markets helped “fuel the increase.” The two largest increases recorded were in Miami, FL and Newark, NJ, 14.4 percent and 16.3 percent respectively. Markets with very low inventory may have also contributed to rising home prices, says RE/MAX.
The number of homes for sale in October dropped 6.7 percent from the previous month, resulting in the lowest level recorded this year for any month since May. It was also down nearly 16 percent from last year. Inventory declines were recorded in 48 of the 53 markets surveyed.
Based on October’s rate of home sales, inventory sat at 3.9 months. This was unchanged from September 2016, but below the 4.5 months supply recorded last year. A supply of 6 months or greater “indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.”
Only 5 of the surveyed markets recorded a “balanced market at 6.0 or above.”
Inventory continued to be very low in San Francisco, CA (1.4 months), Seattle, WA (1.6 months) and Denver, CO (1.5 months).
Homes spent an average of 58 days on the market in October. This was up from the 56 days recorded in September, but down from the 62 days recorded last year. October was the 43rd consecutive month where the average days on market was 80 or less, according to RE/MAX’s data.
“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. But finishing just 1 percent below October 2015 sales is still a very solid performance,” said RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder Dave Liniger.
Liniger added that October was also 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.”
Click here to read the full report.