The 2013 summer selling season ends on a strong positive note, with both home sales and prices significantly higher than last year. August becomes the 19th month in a row that both metrics were higher than the same month in the previous year. August home sales were up 6.5% and the Median Price of $188,450 was 12.9% higher than August 2012.
The RE/MAX Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metropolitan areas, also found that the rate of inventory decline from last year was 17.4%, less than the 20.7% decline observed in July. As inventory returns to a more normal level, home prices will likely stabilize. At the current rate of home sales, the number of months required to move the entire inventory was 4.4, still below the 6 month supply recognized as a market balanced between buyers and sellers.
“Despite low inventory and rising interest rates, demand for housing is strong, and both home sales and prices remain higher than one year ago,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. “Now that the active summer season is behind us, the results are clear – 2013 is continuing the recovery that started in 2012.”
Transactions – Year-Over-Year Change
The RE/MAX National Housing Report for August showed a 5.3% decrease in Closed Transactions from July, but a 6.5% increase over August 2012. August is the 26th month in a row reporting higher sales than the same month in the previous year. Home sales in 2013 were the highest in May and July, but June and August sales were still strong with higher sales than June and August last year. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in July, 41 reported higher sales than August 2012, with 25 reporting double-digit gains, including: Burlington, VT +29.6%, Chicago, IL +26.7%, Manchester, NH +24.4%, Des Moines, IA +21.2%, Albuquerque, NM +20.7%, and Raleigh & Durham, NC +20.6%.
Median Sales Price
The Median Price of all homes sold in the survey’s 52 metro areas was $188,450, just 0.5% lower than the Median Price in July, but still 12.9% higher than the Median Price in August 2012. This makes August the 19th consecutive month with a Median Price higher than the same month of the previous year. As long as there’s strong demand from buyers and a low supply of inventory, home prices should remain significantly higher than last year. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in August, 51 experienced higher sales prices than one year ago. In fact, 23 metro areas reported double-digit increases, including: Detroit, MI +50.0%, Atlanta, GA +39.6%, Miami, FL +39.7%, Las Vegas, NV +33.6%, San Francisco, CA +29.3% and Orlando, FL +27.3.
Days on Market – Average of 52 Metro Areas
Of all the homes sold in August, the average number of Days on Market was just 62, unchanged from July but a significant 19 days lower than the 81-day average in August 2012. The August 62-day average is the 15th time in the past year that Days on Market has been below 90. The low Days on Market average is the direct result of fewer homes for sale and high buyer demand. 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
August is the 5th consecutive month that has seen a slower rate of inventory decline. The number of homes for sale in August was 3.4% lower than the inventory in July, but 17.4% below the inventory in August 2012. There were 11 metro areas reporting increases in available inventory from July. This is an indication that inventory levels are stabilizing and starting to rise. The Months Supply of Inventory for August was 4.4. Extremely low Months Supply figures remain in some key markets like: San Francisco, CA 1.3, Los Angeles, CA 2.0, Denver, CO 2.1, Phoenix, AZ 2.5, Washington, DC 2.6 and Orlando, FL 2.6.